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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales

Familia: Poaceae
Subfamilia: Panicoideae
Tribus: Paniceae
Subtribus: Cenchrinae
Genus: Spinifex
Species: S. hirsutus – S. littoreus – S. longifolius – S. sericeus

Nothospecies: S. × alterniflorus

Spinifex L., Mant. Pl. 2: 163 (1771)

Type species: Spinifex littoreus (Burm.f.) Merr., Philipp. J. Sci., C 7: 229 (1912)


Ixalum G.Forst., Fl. Ins. Austr.: 92 (1786), nom. nud.


Linneaus, C. von (1771) Mantissa Plantarum 163, 300.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2013. Spinifex in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Nov. 30. Reference page.
Simon, B.K., Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T., Vorontsova, M., Brake, I., Healy, D. & Alfonso, Y. 2013. GrassWorld, Spinifex. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Nov. 30. 2013. Spinifex. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Nov. 30.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Spinifex. Published online. Accessed: 30 Nov. 2013.

Spinifex is a genus of perennial coastal plants in the grass family.[2][3][4][5]

They are one of the most common plants that grow in sand dunes along the coasts of Africa, Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia, with the ranges of some species extending north and west along the coasts of Asia as far as India and Japan.[6] As they help stabilise the sand, these grasses are an important part of the entire sand dune ecosystem. The single species indigenous to New Zealand, Spinifex sericeus,[7] is also found in Australia.[8]

Confusingly, the word "spinifex" is also used as a common name referring to grasses in the related genus Triodia. Triodia however is native to inland Australia and refers to a group of spiny-leaved, tussock-forming grasses.


Spinifex × alterniflorus Nees – Western Australia
Spinifex hirsutus Labill. – all 6 states of Australia
Spinifex littoreus (Burm.f.) Merr. – Ashmore Reef in Western Australia; New Guinea,, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Indochina, Indian subcontinent, China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan), Taiwan, Japan including Ryukyu Islands
Spinifex longifolius R.Br. – Thailand,, Indonesia, New Guinea, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western AustraliaSouth Australia
Spinifex sericeus R.Br. – all 6 states of Australia plus Norfolk Island, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Tonga

formerly included[1]

Spinifex paradoxus (now Zygochloa paradoxa)


Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Linnaeus, Carl von. 1771. Mantissa Plantarum 163, 300
Tropicos, Spinifex L.
Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 553 鬣刺属 lie ci shu Spinifex Linnaeus, Mant. Pl. 2: 163, 300. 1771.
Atlas of Living Australia Spinifex L.
"Sand spinifex grass (Spinifex sericeus)" (PDF). Descriptions of Major Dune Plants. Beach Protection Authority, Queensland. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
Mark, Alan F. (1 March 2009). "Grasslands - Spinifex". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. (1988). Flora of New Zealand Volume IV. Botany Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.
The Plant List search for Spinifex

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