Lomandra Aussie Bush Food

Lomandra longifolia or more commonly known as just Lomandra, basket grass or mat rush. Is an Australian native plant, a member of the Asparagaceae family that is commonly found growing up the eastern Australian coast from Tasmania to the Cape York Peninsula.

Far North Queensland Photo Ian Scott
Lomandra Longifloria Cairns Far North Queensland Photo © Ian Scott

Growing Lomandra

Growing well in most conditions the Lomandra plant can be found naturally growing in a wide variety of environments. Which include those that have sandy soils, or creek banks, along rocky hillsides and even swamps.

It is a Perennial plant that grows in a thick clump or cluster. The leaves have a flat, shiny, firm green and glossy appearance. Ranging in size from 40 cm to 1 m long and from 8-12 mm wide the leaves are usually taller than the flowering stem. Flowering occurs from spring to late summer and is recognizable due to the spiny prickly clusters of flowers, which are creamy in color sometimes with a purplish tint in the center.

Due to its general hardiness and versatility but also attractive appearance, it is commonly today used as a landscaping plant. Being also frost, heat and drought tolerant allows this natural treasure to have the ability to withstand some wide ranging extremes. Allowing Lomandra longifolia to be used for landscaping purposes not only in Australia but also in places like the Usa, Spain and New Zealand.

Spiritual Uses And Benefits

Indigenous people found this plant extremely useful and versatile they ground the seeds for the making of damper, chewed the base of the leaves for hydration as they contain water and starch, making it a very useful survival or refreshment tool. Flowers were also consumed apparently having a similar taste to that of green peas. The leaves were also used for the crafting or weaving of baskets or net bags.

Yet another national treasure making it big overseas. Showing once again, the hidden beauty of the things growing in your own backyard. – Ange Marxsen

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