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The emerging popularity of grasses and grass-like plants in Inland Empire landscapes has led to many other successful plant introductions. The Spiny-headed mat rush is one of these new garden additions. It is a clumping perennial growing with a symmetrical shape, 4-5 ft. tall and as wide. Medium green foliage is comprised of flat stiff leaves; 6-8 in. long flower spikes with fragrant yellow flowers occur in spring.

Spiny-headed mat rush is native to southern and eastern Australia and Tasmania where it grows along water courses, on hillsides and in open forest communities. It has proven to be a tough and durable plant that is adaptable to wet and dry conditions and a variety of soil types. Individual plants provide bold clumping character in containers, perennial gardens and as an understory plant among eucalyptus trees. Mass plantings are effective in medians, on slopes and in large garden spaces. It is well adapted to sun and partial shade, and shows good drought tolerance once established. One trademarked cultivar, L. l. Breeze, is a dwarf plant that has narrow green leaves, grows 2-3 ft. high and has fragrant yellow flowers.

Water Needs

The Spiny-headed mat rush and its cultivars grow well in partial shade to sunny locations on many types of soils and with regular summer water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; summer water helps sustain its foliage character particularly when planted in sunny exposures.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 3

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 9"-16"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Perennial
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Narrow, Clumping, Arching
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.
Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Foliage Color: Light green
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Silt, Loam, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Moderate shade, Heat, Drought, All day sun
Function: Slopes, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Parks and open space, Near pools and water features, Mass planting, Grouped, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Container plant, Commercial spaces, Borders, Banks, Background plant, Fragrant flowers, Small spaces


Cut back hard to reinvigorate every year or two in late spring (S).



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