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Any of various clump-forming, perennial Australian grasses, chiefly of the genus Triodia, growing in arid regions and having awl-shaped, pointed leaves.
[New Latin Spīnifex, former genus name : Latin spīna, thorn + Latin -fex; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Plants) Also called: porcupine grass Austral any of various coarse spiny-leaved inland grasses of the genus Triodia
2. (Plants) any grass of the SE Asian genus Spinifex, having pointed leaves and spiny seed heads: often planted to bind loose sand
[C19: from New Latin, from Latin spīna a thorn + -fex maker, from facere to make]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014