Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Lomandra banksii (R.Br.) Lauterb.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Dehiscing fruits. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Lauterbach, C.A.G. (1913) Botanische Jahrbucher 50 : 294.

Common name

Clumping Mat-rush; Cocky's Bootlace; Iron-grass; Mat rush


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrubby plant 1 m tall, sometimes flowers when smaller.


Leaves produced in a whorl or tight spiral at the apex of the stems. Leaf blades linear-falcate, about 20-30 x 0.6-0.8 cm, midrib absent. Margin finely or minutely toothed. Venation longitudinal with about 20-40 veins visible. Petioles absent, bases sheathing.


Inflorescence up to 35 cm long on a peduncle about 10 cm long. Flowers about 2-2.5 mm diam. Outer tepals about 2.5 mm long. Male flowers: Flowers with six stamens, dimorphic, three on shorter filaments and not versatile and three on longer filaments and versatile. Filaments about 1-1.5 mm long. Female flowers: Flowers with six staminodes. Ovules pendulous from the apex of each locule. Stigma sessile, 3-lobed.


Capsules triangular, about 10 x 6 mm, +/- star-shaped when open, about 1.6 cm diam., with the aril-covered seeds held in the middle. Capsule valves transversely wrinkled on the outer surface. Aril red. Testa white except for a small section which is brown or black.


First pair of true leaves difficult to distinguish from cataphylls but +/- linear or filiform and longitudinally veined. Base sheathing. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves distichous, leaf blade linear, much longer than wide, not narrowed into a petiole, venation parallel, base sheathing the stem. Seed germination time 53 to 211 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 50 m. Grows in a variety of vegetation types often in open forest and heath, occasionally in vine thickets and on rain forest margins. Also occurs in Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.

Natural History & Notes

An interesting tufted plant that has potential for plantings in open areas like rockeries. Plants are slow growing.

Xerotes banksii R.Br., Prod. : 263(1810), Type: Queensland, Endeavour River, Banks & Solander; holo: BM?.
RFK Code
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