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 Plant Profile – Choosing the right landscape Lomandra 
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Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010
Posts: 68
Post Plant Profile – Choosing the right landscape Lomandra
Plant Profile – Choosing the right landscape Lomandra

As we all know the popularity of Lomandra’s as mass plantings in the landscape has increased significantly over the last few years. Many people think and refer to Lomandra’s as native grasses but technically they are not in botanical terms. Lomandra are not true grasses like Poa or Themeda but rather grass like plants or strap leaf plants belonging to the Grass tree family Xanthorrhoeaceae.

The most commonly used, robust and stronger Lomandra species for general mass landscaping are the longifolia and hystrix types. Common Lomandra longifolia is a very dry tolerant plant and will also tolerate cold and frost well. It can be quite variable and will naturally occur in sandy soils or free draining heavier soils. Some plants originating in these soil conditions can handle both conditions and there are selections available which have proven they can grow successfully in both soil types such as Lomandra types including Tanika and Katrinus Deluxe.

The main problem in Qld and mid to northern NSW for longifolia selections can be wet feet and poor drainage coupled with summer rain and high humidity. Avoid these situations if you are using longifolia types as they can tend to die off and rot away from the base of the plant through summer. On the other hand Lomandra hystrix types can better handle wet soils and humidity. They can also tolerate dry conditions but will perform better with some summer watering when it is dry. Lomandra hystrix varieties such as Tropicbelle and Katie Belles have male flowers so they do not produce any seed and the flowers have a magnificent scented perfume which fills the air in mid to late spring. Lomandra fluviatilis is also another species to consider for general mass planting. It is a tough plant that copes very well in humid conditions and also will tolerate heavy frosts, look out for one named Shara.

Other common Lomandra species which have been used in general mass landscaping and do not perform as well or are better suited as garden plants are the confertifolia and filiformis types. These species compared to longifolia and hystrix species take longer to establish once planted and often die due to lack of water in establishment. They tend to get outcompeted by weeds quickly due to their slower growth rate and confertifolia’s in particular do not handle dry conditions as well due to their less vigorous root system. The best place to use Lomandra confertilfolia varieties such as Seascape, Tilga or Little Con or filiformis varieties such as Savanna Blue or Goldfield Blue is in gardens, where they can be maintained, and weeds can be removed. Used in mass plantings, they are more susceptible to being overtaken by weeds. If these species types are used, the smallest size to use is a 140mm pot, but due to the slowness of establishment a minimum size of 175mm would be better.

Some of the new blue foliage types look pretty, but they can die quite easily when the times get tough. They are good garden plants, but avoid them for mass planting. Part of the reason why they do not perform as well as the more vigorous Lomandra species in sunny mass planted areas, can be sourced from the botanic text books. All the Lomandra confertifolia species described grow in dry sclerophyll forest with some shade, except for one type which grows in rocky sandstone type soils. This is probably the reason why most fail in humid type climates, as well as dry climates where it is full sun and heavy soil types.
One thing to be mindful of when you are specifying or using Lomandra varieties for mass plantings/roadsides is to make sure you know what species you are using. Many new varieties on the market do not specify what species they are, so do your research before using some Lomandra’s as it may not be the suitable species you intended for that area.

Check out some of the plants that were mentioned here...

Tanika viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3632

Katrinus Deluxe viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3624

Tropicbelle viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3634

Katie Belles viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3621

Shara ... shara.html

Savanna Blue viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3660

Tue Aug 21, 2012

Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 28
Post Re: Plant Profile – Choosing the right landscape Lomandra
Good Advice rx2. Lomandra confertifolia in nature generally only occurs in shaded forests, and cannot tolerate poor drainage. They usually need some shade to survive tough conditions. So many have died in the previous drought and recent wet. I do not know why people use them. Loamndra longifolia types are so much better, as to are hystrix and fluviatilis types. Anything that was once called Lomandra longifolia before the botanists decided to change their names is good.

Wed Sep 05, 2012
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