The first time I heard the term bindis in Australia we were at the birthday party of one of my son’s preschool friends. The party was the ubiquitous Aussie sausage sizzle at a public BBQ next to a children’s playground. It was towards the end of last year so Spring/Summer in Australia.

As the party got going and kids took shoes off to run around the playground and adjacent grassed area one of the parents shouted, “Watch out for bindis!”

In our house, we’d been enjoying the latest TV series of Bindi: The Jungle Girl. For those who aren’t familiar with Bindi Irwin she is Steve Irwin’s daughter (Crocodile Hunter) and is continuing the family legacy of making great wildlife programs.

When I heard the cry, “Watch out for Bindis!” I looked up expecting to see Jungle Girls commando crawling through the bushes, then I realised…

Bindi weed has thorns and grows in grass

In Australia, a bindi is the common term used to describe thorns found in grass. The thorns are actually seeds from a weed called soliva sessilis that grows with and on top of grass.

Shortly after one of the parents shouted, “Watch out for bindis!” my son sped through the grass with bare feet and got several white prickles in his toes. He screamed. I then recalled walking through grass myself when we first arrived in Australia and getting a few thorns in my feet, I thought they’d fallen from a tree or bush into the grass but now I understand.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons not to let your kids run around barefoot in Australia, we talked about Barefoot walking in Oz several months ago. The danger of walking into bindis can be added to the list. That said, I remember how great it felt, as a kid, to run around barefoot so I expect the bindi encounters in our household are far from over.

If you have bindis in your grass at home, here’s a useful article on keeping bindi weed under control. In NSW we believe you need to spray during Spring to avoid nasty Bindi growth and thorns during Summer; this may vary across Australia, with different climates – check with your local garden centre.

Have you got bindis in the grass near you, or any other dangerous plants you weren’t familiar with before moving to Aus? Please share the knowledge. Thank you.

Related articles:

Don’t miss critical information about your move to Australia: Join Mum’s Facebook page to receive regular updates. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to have a wrap-up of articles, tips and recommendations delivered straight to your Inbox.