Real World Gardener Lomandra or Matt Rush in Plant of the Week

April 26th, 2021

Nr 2 Plant of the Week

Common Name: Matt rush

Scientific Name: Lomandra hystrix: L. longifolia

Family: Xanthorrhoeacea

Leaves: tufted grass-like perennial with dull or bright green leaves 40cm  to 1m in length. Leaf blades have very sharp edges. 

Flowers: -in summer with panicles or clusters of straw coloured bracts. L. longifolia flowers are scented.

Height: many cultivars are now available but the species usually are 1.5m tall by 1.5m wide.

Distribution: All over Australia

Interesting fact: The white starchy bases were chewed by Aboriginal people especially if they needed an energy boost on long walks. The seed was pounded and made into flour or eaten whole and mixed with native honey. The strappy leaves were used to weave baskets for carrying food as well as making eel traps and nets.

  • Grows from an underground rhizome, so if the plant dies off, it can resprout.

Hardiness: drought and frost resistant, tolerant of extremes in temperature.

Growing from seed: Fresh seed will germinate in a couple of weeks. Can also lie dormant for up to 12 months before germinating.

Situation: Full sun or part shade in any type of soil.

Which Lomandra is best for your garden?

  • Little Con:Petite, compact, resilient, our shortest lomandra at up to 30cm, and a perfect no-mow groundcover.
  • Evergreen Baby:Slightly bigger than Little Con, compact to 45 cm. Hardy, ideal for rockeries and suited to almost all soil types. Very popular. 
  • Verday:Compact to 50cm. Tough as old boots, hardy, long-lived once established. Frost tolerant and puts up with almost any location or condition. 
  • Little Pal:Very fine slender leaves and a better performance in shady spots make this 50cm lomandra a fine addition to garden borders. 
  • Little Cricket: Long broad leaves reach to 50cm then cascade in an a generous fountain of foliage, like a mini Lomandra hystrix. 
  • Nyalla:Medium height to 80cm. Graceful, slender blue-green, cascading leaves. Good in dry spots, in full sun or shade. Frost tolerant, and robust in salt-laden winds and coastal locations.

I'm talking with Adrian O'Malley, native plant expert and horticulturist.

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