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Natural populations

Lomandra longifolia occurs in eastern parts of eastern Australia, from Cape York to Tasmania, with annual rainfall patterns between 650 to 2000 mm. It is a widespread and common species on sandy or gravelly watercourses or alluvial plains, also in gullies and forested hillsides. Lomandra longifolia is a very variable species and may be confused with other taxa closely related taxa, which include L. hystrix, L. fluviatilis, L. confertifolia subsp. pallida, L. spicata and L. montana [42].

Two subspecies of L. longifolia  are recognised in Victoria [16]: subsp. longifolia (wide leaves) is common in coastal to subalpine regions in heathlands and forests, particularly on alluvial flats or on deep sandy soils near the coast; and, subsp. exilis (narrow leaves) which is common in rocky montane to subalpine areas on the Great Dividing Range and on drier areas of the coastal plains and foothill country.A distinctive entity from the lower reaches of the Gellibrand River in the Otway Range, in south west Victoria, may represent a distinct taxon [16].

Flowering and seeds

Flowering in spring to early summer and fruiting in summer; mature seeds shed quickly. Germinates in 8-10 weeks from fresh seed [1; 11], at 25°C with no pre-treatment required [90].

Cultivation and uses

One of the best river or creek bank stabilisers available; it is also of high wildlife value as a shelter for ground fauna and for nectar [1] The tough leaves were used by Aborigines for fine baskets, mats, eel traps, and binding wounds [11].

Key descriptors:

Subsp. longifolia:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 650-2000 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 9-20 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 19-31 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 0-11 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 10-900 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant
Wind: tolerates salt-laden coastal winds
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: neutral (6.5-7.5) (?)
Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: poorly to imperfectly drained
Salinity: non-saline
Biological traits under cultivation
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast
Root system: shallow and spreading
Erosion control potential: excellent for sandy sites
Shade tolerance: tolerates partial shade

Subsp. exilis:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 650-1800 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: winter
Mean annual temperature: 7-18 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 19-29 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: -3-7 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): 3. greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: metres 10-1400 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: neutral (6.5-7.5) (?)
Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: poorly to imperfectly drained
Salinity: non-saline
Biological traits under cultivation
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast
Root system: shallow and spreading
Erosion control potential: excellent for sandy sites
Shade tolerance: tolerates partial shade

References

[1] Carr D (1997) Plants in Your Pants: a pocket guide for the identification and use of the common plants of the northwest slopes. Greening Australia NSW, Armidale.

[17] Cunningham GM, Mulham WE, Milthorpe PL, Leigh JH (1992) Plants of western New South Wales. Inkata Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria.

[42] Flora of Australia (1982 to 2007) Volumes 2 to 47, CSIRO Publishing and the Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra.

[90] Flynn S, Turner RM, Dickie JB (2004) Kew Gardens Seed Information Database (Release 7.0, October 2006). (Online  http://www.kew.org/data/sid/ Accessed: July 2007).

[11] Kent K, Earl G, Mullins B, Lunt I, Webster R (2002) Native Vegetation Guide for the Riverina: notes for land managers on its management and revegetation. Charles Sturt University, NSW.

[16] Walsh NG, Entwisle TJ (1994 - 1999) Flora of Victoria. Volume 2 - 4, Inkata Press, Melbourne.

Internet links

Australian National Botanic Gardens – Growing Australian Plants: http://www.cpbr.gov.au/gnp/interns-2007/lomandra-longifolia.html

PlantNet NSW Flora Online – species description & distribution: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Lomandra~longifolia

South Australia Flora Online – species description & distribution: http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/cgi-bin/texhtml.cgi?form=speciesfacts&family=Liliaceae&genus=Lomandra&species=longifolia

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