Xanthorrhoea australis

Austral Grass-tree

Stout perennial with thick, often branched, woody trunk, generally black as a result of fire.

Additional information

  • FamilyAsphodelaceae (syn. Xanthorrhoeaceae)
  • StoreyMiddle storey
  • Sizetrunk to 3 m high
  • Plant groupingLilies & Irises
  • LeavesSpreading grassy tuft from the top of trunk, erect when young. 4-sided rigid bluish-green leaves to 1 m x 1.2-3 mm.
  • Flower colourCreamy-white
  • Flowering timeJuly to December
  • FlowersFlowering spike from centre of tuft, flowering section 110-180 cm long, longer than non-flowering section (30-50 cm and 18-40 mm thick). Mass of small highly perfumed flowers. Nectar sweet.
  • Bird attractingNectar, insects
  • Butterfly attractingNectar for butterflies
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsWell drained soil on rocky slopes. Frost tolerant. Full sun or semi shade.
  • Garden useOutstanding specimen plant for the garden or tubs. Purchased non seedling plants must be registered. Flowers prolifically after fire.
  • Commercially availableSpecialist Australian plant nursery
  • Conservation statusSignificant within the Shire. Known from very few local sites.
  • Aboriginal Use Food - nectar, roots, leaf bases; resin - adhesive; flowering stem - fire sticks, spears
  • Related speciesXanthorrhoea minor is a smaller plant with the trunk underground. The flowering section of the stem is less than half the length of the non-flowering section. The flowering section on X. australis is 2-6 times greater than the base.
Photographer/s: 1, 4 Marilyn Bull ©; 2 Marty White/SYR ©; 3 Colleen Miller ©

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