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Muehlenbeckia florulenta

Plant Family


Alternative Common Names

tangled lignum.

A perennial, monoecious (having both male and female organs) shrub, growing to 2.5 m in height, with its multitude of thin, intertwined and tangled branches and branchlets forming dense thickets to the exclusion of other species. Its thin, narrow leaves are 15–70 mm long and 2–10 mm wide. The grey-green stems often end in a sharp point. Lignum often appears leafless as the leaves are produced on younger growth but soon die off, especially in dry conditions. New leaves and shoots are rapidly produced in response to rainfall or flooding. The plant has a very deep root system, penetrating the soil to at least 3 m in depth. It is highly tolerant of salinity and drought and may be used as an indicator of dryland soil salinity.
The slender tangled branches provide protection for small birds. Local Kamilaroi people knew that potential tucker could be hiding in the clumps.

Flowers - are small and cream to yellowish, solitary or clustered along the branchlets.

Fruit - is top-shaped, dry, and about 5 mm long.

Flowering through most of the year.


Floodplains, swamps, gilgais and other intermittently flooded areas.


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