Dianella caerulea congesta (R.Br.) F.M.Bailey
Dianella nemorosa congesta (R.Br.) Schlittler
Common Name: Beach Flax Lily
Dianella congesta is an evergreen, mat-forming perennial plant with a rhizomatous rootstock; it can grow up to 100cm tall, spreading widely to form mats of growth that can be 20 metres or more wide[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials. It is a very effective sand binder in coastal situations and is also sometimes grown as an ornamental.
Australia - eastern New South Wales, southeast Queensland.
Stabilized coastal sand dunes, forming mats in gregarious colonies that are often extensive[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Dianella congesta is a native of the warm temperate to subtropical climate of eastern Australia, where it is restricted to the coastal belt[
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil in sun or dappled shade[
]. Requires a well-drained neutral to acid soil[
]. Requires a sunny sheltered position when grown outdoors in Britain[
Most members of this genus are not very cold-tolerant, but some can survive in sheltered stable environments in dappled shade, such as a woodland, if temperatures do not drop far below zero for long periods[
Fruit - raw or cooked. The best tasting of the genus[
]. The fruit is up to 15mm in diameter[
The plant is restricted in the wild to maritime habitats where, because of its matting characteristics, it is a very effective sand-binder[
A very strong silky fibre is obtained from the leaves. The leaves are also used in making baskets[
Seed - pre-soak for 24 hours in luke-warm water and then sow in spring in gentle heat in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 25°c[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first two years. When large enough, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.
Division as the plants come into growth in the spring[
]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.