Wednesday 8 April 2020

Grass Tree (Australia, 1978)

There are about 30 species of grass tree in Australia, all part of the beautifully named genus Xanthorrhoea. They’re distinctive, not only visually, but also because they were among the first flowering plants to evolve and have adapted to thrive in a landscape prone to bushfires. They use their own dead leaves as an insulating wrapper to protect agains the heat of fires, and they take advantage of post-fire conditions to flower. It has also been used to make spears, create remedies and produce adhesives or ‘varnishes’ for surfaces. Not bad, grass tree, not bad.

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