Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Lomandra hystrix (R.Br.) L.R.Fraser & Vickery

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © Barry Jago
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Fraser, L.R. & Vickery, J.W. (1937) Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 62: 286.

Common name

Creek Mat-Rush; Mat-Rush, Creek; Matrush


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrubby plant about 1 m tall.


Leaf blades linear, about 80-100 x 1-2 cm. Margin smooth except for 1 or 2 teeth below the apex. Bases sheathing, brown and scarious. Venation longitudinal and parallel.


Inflorescence about as long as the leaves or shorter than the leaves. Male flowers: Flowers sessile, pleasantly perfumed, about 3 mm diam., arranged in whorls on the main branches of the inflorescence. Stamens six, attached to the tepals. Anthers yellow. Female flowers: Staminodes dimorphic, the short ones alternating with the inner tepals and the longer ones opposite the inner tepals. Ovary green, stigma 3-lobed.


Infructescence with many long spiny bracts, each bract about 1-4 cm long. Fruits globular, about 5 x 4 mm, 3-lobed in transverse section. Style persistent at the apex of each fruit. Seeds up to three per fruit, each seed about 4 mm long. Testa very thin. Endosperm hard and starchy. Embryo slightly curved, about 1.8 mm long.


Seeds retained on threads about 4-8 mm long. Leaves radical, venation parallel and margin smooth. First leaf blade linear, about 17-40 x 1-1.5 mm, second leaf blade about 40-60 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade linear, flat, many times longer than wide, about 150-200 x 4-5 mm. Venation longitudinal and parallel. Base of the leaf blade expanded to form a clear membrane which sheaths the stem. Seed germination time 27 to 91 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 450-1500 m. Frequently grows beside watercourses in upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

A clumping plant that is commonly used for landscaping. It is very easily grown in a variety of situations. The flowers are strongly perfumed.

Lomandra longifolia subsp. hystrix (R.BR.) A.Lee, Contr. New South Wales Nat. Herb. 3: 155(1962). Lomandra longifolia var. hystrix (R.BR.) Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 85: 526(1915). Xerotes hystrix R.Br., Prodr. : 262(1810), Type: New South Wales, Hunter, Paterson & Williams Rivers, Oct. - Nov. 1804, R. Brown 5763; holo: BM. Fide Lee & Macfarlane (1986) Fl. Australia 46: 121.
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