Spinifex longifolius (Beach Spinifex) is our most important primary dune sand stabilising plant. Its spreading root network helps hold the sand and this way protects the dunes during winter storm events.
It’s a perennial grass with male and female plants. The large female flower heads or inflorescences roll away from the plant in the wind, dropping seed as they scoot along the beach.
CCA has often collected seed heads which we break up and dig in to eroding dunes. We know that seedlings grow at times but I haven’t caught a photo before of the very young seedlings. It was great to see patches of tiny shoots today where we ‘planted’ Spinifex seed heads in March this year at Cottesloe main beach.
CCA volunteers breaking up Spinifex inflorescences
Dry female Spinifex seed heads collected from the beach
The buried heads have germinated and small plants are growing
Here Spinifex longifolius is growing well in mobile sand at Cottesloe