- Spinifex is a tough, spiky tussock grass that dominates much of the red sand desert and rocky ranges of Central Australia. Spinifex thrives on the poorest, most arid soils Australia has to offer. It is Spinifex that has prevented our deserts from becoming a Sahara-like world of bare, shifting sand.
- Spinifex roots go down a long way: approximately 10 feet. Generally the roots develop from the same nodes as the shoots so that each shoot has its own personal water supply. The spiky leaves contain a lot of silica which makes them stiff and rigid.
- Spinifex seeds are produced after exceptional rainfall events. The seed is an important source of food for many desert birds and rodents.
- In areas long unburnt, rings of Spinifex join up, crowding out shorter-lived plants. Fire burns even green Spinifex and promotes the germination of a wide variety of shorter-lived plants, part of a cycle of burning and regrowth. Spinifex grasslands are the single most extensive vegetation type in Australia, covering 22% of the continent.