Romnalda ophiopogonoides (Asparagaceae)

Romnalda ophiopogonoides

Romnalda is a small genus of sedge-like plants belonging under, if you would believe it, the Asparagus family. This is of course an artefact of the molecular age. No Australian botanist or naturalist would fail to notice the similarities between this plant and Lomandra, a genus of very widespread sedge-like plants in Australia. In fact, the name Romnalda is an anagram of Lomandra. Romnalda differs from Lomandra however, in the exclusively rainforest habitat, and having sparsely branched inflorescences with no spines. The genus is also biogeographically interesting, with other members of the genus found in New Guinea.

Romnalda ophiopogonoides

Romnalda ophiopogonoides
Unbranched inflorescence lacking spines.

I was impressed to see this species in the Cairns Botanic Garden labelled as Romnalda sp. Cooper Creek. In it’s natural environment this species is in fact endemic and restricted to a few localities around Cooper Creek in the Daintree. The dark glossy strap-like leaves with delicate purple flowers make this species a rather ornamental one suited for growing in shaded areas.

Romnalda ophiopogonoides
Closeup of flowers

Romnalda ophiopogonoides

Romnalda ophiopogonoides
Leaf apex.

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About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Asparagaceae (Asparagus family), Endemics, Habitat - Rain forest, Lifeform - Lilies and grass-like plants and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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