Greetings fellow Foxies,
Mat rushes are monocotyledons that look like sedges until they flower. They are perennials with tough leaves that grow from underground rhizomes. Flower spikes with small delicate flowers arise from the base of the plant.
Lomandra micrantha has tiny flowers that I did not find until about 5 years ago. You need a camera with a macro lens to appreciate the delicate beauty of these apparently drab flowers.
Lomandras are dioecious (boy and girl) plants that appear to have the same flowers until you look (very) closely.
I found only male plants on the clay flats. These have six prominent stamens, but the pistil (stalk from the ovary that receives pollen for fertilisation), is short and sterile – a pistillode.
On stony gravel soil near the Banksia Walk I found a single plant, which was female. Flowers had insignificant sterile stamens (staminodes).
These flowers had been fertilised (I think), as the ovary was swollen. If so, a male plant must be reasonably close by.
Scented Lomandra Lomandra effusa is an attractive plant that is common near the Claypit and flowers in September.
Little Fringe-Leaf/Chamaexeros serra also flowers on the Claypit flats in September and October. Plants in this genus are mat rushes with bisexual flowers and fringed leaves.
Doug Sawkins is a friend of Foxes Lair who once worked for the WA Department of Agriculture