Xanthorrhoea preissii   Grass Tree Endemic

Xanthorrhoea preissii whole Xanthorrhoea preissii whole

This endemic, monocotyledonous plant was first described by Stephen Endlicher in the 19th century.The flower, emerging from a trunk on top of which the grass-like leaves grow , is a long spike which can reach 3 metres in height. It is also fairly fireproof so many trunks of Xanthorrhoea preissii appear blackened still living after many fires burnt all the vegetation around them. The tree is also home to various creatures including Antechinus flavipes (Yellow-footed Antechinus) a small mouse-like marsupial which is noted for the fact that the male mates so vigorously that it messes up its own immune system and often dies after only one year.

The plant is now known as Grass Tree but because the silhouette reminded the early settlers of a native Aboriginal person holding a spear it was originally know as Blackboy but political correctness and embarrassment has resulted in this change to the old colloquial name. The Aboriginal name is Balga.

Xanthorrhoea preissii is common in south western Australia from around Perth down to Albany inland and at the coastal strip.

Xanthorrhoea preissii

Xanthorrhoea preissii Grass Tree

Near Margaret River, Western Australia 22nd August 2007

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Xanthorrhoea preissii Grass Tree

Wireless Hill Park, Perth Western Australia 21st September 2007

Added on 11th May 2012

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