Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Grass Tree

The grass tree is also known as “Xanthorrhoea glauca”, is a large plant in the genus Xanthorrhoea mainly widespread in eastern Australia. The tree has many branches and its trunk can grow in excess of 5 metres tall. The grass tree is sporadically seen in large communities in woodland on steep edges and sides of gorges, mainly in shallow rich basaltic soils and, at some sites in serpentine soils or sandstone. The grass tree is a slow growing plant, carefree and durable admired for its spherical form and fine texture and makes it a perfect garden specimen.  The leaves are a grey or bluish glaucous green. The grass tree has two sub-species, which are recognized; subspecies angustifolia and glauca. The grass trees are highly fire-resistant and are among the first to resprout after wildfire as the living growth is buried within the old dead leaf bases. Many insects automatically attract due to its nectar rich flowers, and overlap of characters between the subspecies where their distribution abut.

Moreover, this plant has an exclusive structure, with a true stem of fibrous conducting tissue supported by a sheath of tightly packed old leaf bases glued by a reddish crystalline resin. Tall, rod-like flower spikes grow above the foliage then plentiful miniature; white flowers emerge from densely packed, brown bracts. Its trunk with age and won't be passed over by anyone with an appreciation for sculptural plants. The flower spikes habitually consume much of the plant energy store and may not recur for many years. This rare and iconic plant has been a part of Aboriginal history, colonial artworks and a recent day inspiration to landscape architects. This plant is highly tolerant of drought and heat, thrives in well drained, aerated soils that have a low nutrient content, making it an easy plant to include in any garden. This plant is rarely seen in cultivation due to its slow growth rate, naturally grow one to two centimeters a year, though it has been suggested that growth rates are greatly increased when grown by seed. The all Xanthorrhoea species are having sensitive roots, and in order to shrink the chance of death a sunny position should be selected and the soil should be well aerated for best results.  Source: Charismatic Planet