Xanthorrhoea australis R.Br.

Austral Grass-tree

Prodr. 288 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Stem up to 3 m long, often branched. Leaves forming an erect tuft when young, becoming spreading, quadrate-rhombic to transverse-rhombic in cross-section, 1.2–3 mm wide, 1–2.2 mm thick, bluish, glaucous. Inflorescence with flower-bearing part 110–180(–250) cm long, c. 50–80 mm diam., 2–6 times as long as non-flowering axis which is 0.3–0.5 m long and c. 18–40 mm diam.; bracts around flowers very prominent, narrow and tapering to a fine point; bracts between flowers narrow, tapered to a fine point, glabrous. Sepals with apex ± acute with an adaxial projection present; petals glabrous, except for a small hairy, adaxial projection from the apex. Flowers Jul.–Dec.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, LoM, NIS, OtP, OtR, Strz, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also SA, NSW, Tas. Often abundant in sandy soils in heathlands communities or on rocky hillsides.

The vegetative features which distinguish this species from X. resinifera are discussed under that species. Also see note under X. glauca. Aboriginal people soaked the inflorescence in water to produce a sweet drink. They also ate the soft, white leaf bases and the growing point at the top of the stem (Oates & Seeman 1979).

Source: Conn, B.J. (1994). Xanthorrhoeaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Asphodelaceae
genus Xanthorrhoea
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Xanthorrhoea australis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Xanthorrhoea australis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory