Paul Chong                                                  Friday, 8 December 2017

(Scientific name: Xanthorrhoea)

Once known as “Black Boys” but because of its racial connotation & being “politically incorrect” is nowadays widely called Grasstrees. They’re only found in Australia, most abundantly in the south west.

At the foot of Perth Hills, at the junction of Welshpool Road & Tonkin Highway, is a huge native garden specialising in grasstree landscaping with a large supply of these native plants.
Grasstrees Australia specializes in the supply of quality grasstrees and macrozamia reidlei. By holding all their stock for 12 months after rescuing them from the national forests after the hazards of bush fires, they allow a new root system to develop, resulting in plants that are healthier, require less water and will make an instant visual impact on your garden.

* Native to southwest WA and available in a variety of shapes and sizes.
*Ideal specimen plant to add character and focus to any garden.
* Spectacular when planted in a cluster. (see our picture gallery)
* Small and large plants are suitable to be installed in a pot.
*Mature grasstrees produce flower stalks periodically, most commonly every two to three years.

The plants can grow to a height of over four metres and commonly branches. The plant is very slow growing, taking about one hundred years to grow one metre.

Walking sticks are made from the matured flower stalks. They are light but strong & can cost as much as $60 or more in the Aussie tourist shops. The plants are also pretty pricy ranging from about $300 to $1,000 depending on height & the number of branches.
Twin-Branch Grasstree

Grasstrees survive well in the bush resisting the hazards of bush fire. In fact fire helps to propagate their spreading growth. The stems get burnt turning black & it must be for this reason that they were originally known as “blackboys”.

Right in front of our home is the Darling Range National Park where it’s home to an abundance of these grasstrees . . . a natural landscape unique to Australia.

My backyard has been richly endowed with numerous grasstrees with a few spread in my front garden. Even my post box is guarded by two or three of them.


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