Beach Spinifex (Spinifex sericeus)
City Farm, opposite the Community Centre, on Tin Can Bay Road, is open to the public for plant sales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am-3pm, 07 54862304, email@example.com,
City Farm will be closed from December 20, 2017 to January 9, 2018.
The major weather event in mid-October caused changes to the profile of Rainbow Beach. Some sand on the foreshore was washed away, but sand was blown towards the tree line, creating new dunes.
Without plants to hold these dunes together, sand can be blown inland thus threatening the next line of coastal defence, the more complex plant communities in the hind dunes. Frontal dunes also provide the sand to replenish sand lost from erosion.
Doing the vital job of holding those dunes together are dune plants that are highly specialised to survive severe conditions – full sun, lack of nutrients, wind, salt spray, sand blasting and even occasional inundation by the tide. They grow low to the ground and have strong root systems that spread rapidly, trapping the sand particles and providing stability to the dune.
Two examples of these pioneer plants are Beach Spinifex (Spinifex sericeus), whose tumbling seed heads can be seen now on the beach and the unkindly-named Pig Face (Carpobrotus glaucescens).
Plant of the month is Hakea plurinervia, a shrub to three metres, occurring naturally in sandy soil. Pretty, delicate white flowers in axillary clusters, winter to spring, are followed by woody fruit.