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Grass Trees, Xanthorrhoea | by amandabhslater
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Grass Trees, Xanthorrhoea

These remarkable plants have a lifespan of 600 years but are very slow-growing. The trunk takes a decade to form initially as it is composed of a mass of old leaf bases held together by a natural resin. It is then a further 20 years or more before the mass of thin, linear leaves rises above it. From then on, it grows only about 1-2cm (0.4-0.8in) in height per year.

This plant grows to a height of over 4 metres and often has branches. It’s growth rate is only about 1 metre every 100 years. However, the flowering stalk grows at a rate of 2 – 3 cm per day reaching to a height of over 3 metres. Mature plants will result in flowering every 2 – 3 years. The Grass Tree attracts a wide range of lizards and insects that shelter in the plant’s massive foliage. The flowering spear of the plant attracts honey eating birds, bees, ants, and butterflies.

 

 

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Taken on March 3, 2009