Widely used landscaping plant Lomandra longifolia has the common name of Spiny head Mat Rush, it is a clumping grass with mid green strap like leaves. Flowering in spring, slightly fragrant cream flower heads followed by seeds. Lomandra is widely used in roadside plantings where erosion control is a concern.
Pictired right is the species Lomandra longifolia var longifolia growing in in natural habitat. It does form a good rounded clump over time and in a landscaping situation with adequate moisture will maintain a lush green appearance year round.
Well suited to coastal conditions where it will cope well with wind and salt. Fast growing and excellent for erosion control.
Varieties and cultivars
With many cultivars now released height and form will vary. The species will reach around up to 1m although even this is variable.
- Tanika is a lower growing variety that will get to around 60cm
- Katrina deluxe is tidy form to around 1m
- Breeze is similar to Katrina deluxe however the foliage is slightly narrower
- Sungold has a slight variegation to it and will get to around 60cm
- Nyalla seems to have a blue green foliage, it will reach around 1m in height and is a most attractive plant
Lomandra longifolia is hardy Australian native which is adaptable to a wide range of soils and growing conditions, dry to damp soils, sun to part shade and poor soils as well. However ideal growing conditions will enhance the growth.
Try for a humus rich well drained soil, be a little careful with fertiliser, a slow release native plant fertiliser which is low in phosphorus will be best, however as these are an undemanding plant do not over fertilise.
Lomandra longifolia will grow well in containers and provides a low maintenance solution to many landscaping and mass planting situations.
- Prepare the soil sell by digging over, added humus is beneficial, however not always required.
- Plants will require water for the first 2 – 3 months depending on the time of the year, be vigilant if planting during dry conditions.
- Once established they are very drought tolerant.
Slow release fertiliser in spring will enhance growth.
- Although plants can be left virtually untouched they do benefit from a good cut back after 4 – 5 years.
- Simply cut back to around 30cm from the ground in mid late winter.
- We have done this with a brush cutter, and then raked up the excess.
- Clumps can be divided in late winter to spring, plant into a moist soil and maintain moisture until established.
- The flower heads will set fruit and the seed can be collected when they have turned a brown colour on the plant. Some cultivars are sterile and will not set seed.
- Sow seed when fresh in a tray and keep moist, germination should occur in around 1 – 2 months. Transplant to larger containers when the seedlings are large enough to handle, checking first that the root system has developed. Keep moist on transplanting.
Although Lomandra longifolia is a tough plant it does not like prolonged wet conditions in winter, and cold summers will be detrimental to growth