Xanthorrhoea resinosa    

Grass Tree

The most obvious feature of Grass Trees is the flowering spike which is supported on a stalk or scape. In this species the scape is usually longer than the spike extending the overall height of the plant to 2.5m.

It rises from slender quadrangular blue-green leaves that arch gracefully over an underground or short trunk. The spike is velvet brown in appearance from densely packed hairy dark brown bracts. Shiny brown, hard-capsuled, prominent fruit develop from many creamy-white flowers.

The nectar is an invaluable energy source for insects, birds and small mammals, especially after fire. Aboriginal people soaked the flowers in water to make a sweet drink. They also used the scape and spike as a spear, glueing onto it stone tips and barbs with the yellow resin powdered from the leaf bases.

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Kids Activity Trail

  • Did you know that the flowering spike(growing on a long stalk) is an invaluable source of energy for insects, birds and small mammals as they drink its sweet nectar
  • Can you describe the shape of this unusual seed pod?
  • The shiny brown, hard capsuled ,prominent fruit develop from many creamy-white flowers

Image Credit: PETER BAIRD Xanthorrhoea resinosa (Grass Tree) 2000, carved sandstone, 155 x 165 x 110 cm, Wentworth Falls Lake Sculpture Project, Blue Mountains City Art Collection