Commonly known as Grass Trees. Very slow growing (but long lived) so you can put this one into a planter. Long, reed-like leaves extend from the tip of the "trunk". Erect spikes of creamy blossoms erupt from the top of the tree. Young plants may need 20 years or more just to form a trunk! All species require a well drained soil as they are prone to root rot. A sunny location is essential and it is reported to be frost tolerant. The glassy resin which exudes from the trunks was previously used in varnish and other products. The flakes of resin were collected from around the base of the stem, heated and rolled into balls. The gum sometimes oozed out into balls on the trunk on the northern side caused by the heat of the sun or after bushfires. This was then reheated and used to attach stone flakes to wooden spear shafts or woomeras as well as joining and repairing broken implements. The dry flower stalks were used as fishing spear shafts to which were glued three or four prongs. The flowering spikes of the grass tree were soaked in water to make a sweet drink, fresh or slightly fermented. The tough leaves were used as knives to cut meat. Insect larvae were also harvested from the inside the old flower stalks and from the dead bases. Fires were lit by rubbing two pieces of the dry stalk together. Europeans harvested the gum to make varnishes and lacquers. During World War II many cans of tinned food sent to the Australian troops in the Pacific had a protective coat of grass tree varnish to stop the containers from rusting.
For more Information: http://www.pawlan.com/Monica/xanthor
Current species in production:
Xanthorrhoea australis: Australian Grass Tree or Kangaroo Tail. Very long, thin, grass-like leaves up to 3' long. Generally found along the rocky hills of SE Australia. It takes 30 years or more for the leaf tuft to rise above the trunk.
Xanthorrhoea fulva: A species found in Queensland, Pine Ridge Environmental Park.
Xanthorrhoea gracilis: The Slender Blackboy, mimidi. Does not form a trunk. Dwellingup West Australia - annual rainfall 34 inches, sandy gravel soil.
Xanthorrhoea media: Small species with slender stem.
Xanthorrhoea preissii: Western Australia species with an upright or slightly twisted trunk reaching 20' at maturity. Common name balga (blackboy). Height less than 9', width 3-6'. 28 inches annual rainfall. Sand, sandy loam, loam or gravel soils. 44 viable seeds per gram, 94% germination rate.
Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata: Trunk up to 3' tall with 2' long leaves. Very drought tolerant. USDA Zone 9.
Xanthorrhoea thorntonii: Cundeelee Blackboy. Robust form of the desert blackboy.
|Temperature Rating||USDA Zone 9|
|Growth Rate||S L O W|
|Culture||Low to moderate moisture|
|Native||New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, West Australia|
|Very slow growing|
|Suitable for containers|
|Tolerant of mild frosts|
Sunday August 28, 2011 08:04 PM