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Cartoon characters? Sadly not, although they do have character. These are Grass Trees, and for me just to hear that name evokes memories of the Australian bush with all its quintessential sights, sounds and smells that I so enjoy. The various Grass Tree species are some of the most iconic of all Australian native plants. I spotted these in a beautiful avenue of hundreds of trees, amongst thousands of trees on this mountainside, and most of them were flowering, hence the flower spikes. The growth rate of Xanthorrhoea is incredibly slow, and it's often generalized that all species grow at the rate of about 2½ cm per year. Actually, after the initial establishment phase, the rate of growth varies widely from species to species. Thus, while a five-metre-tall member of the fastest growing Xanthorrhoea may be 200 years old, a member of a more slowly growing species of equal height may have aged to 600 years. I have no idea which category X. glauca falls into, but I guarantee some of the specimens at this location are old-timers by Grass Tree standards. The various Xanthorrhoea species would have originated in the times of Gondwana. Old-timers, indeed! Many of these trees also show evidence of fire.
This spotting was at the summit of Mount Kiangarow, the highest point in Bunya Mountains National Park, southeast Queensland. A wonderful mix of flora on the mountain, ranging from subtropical rainforests and vine forests, to open eucalypt forests. This species thrives in well drained, aerated soils that have a low nutrient content. Here's some info on the park - https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/bunya... https://findapark.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/...
Traditional Aboriginal (Ngunnawal) uses: The flower spike soaked in water makes a sweet drink. The growing part of the leaf stem and the white leaf bases can be eaten. The resin from the base of the leaves is a glue used when making weapons and axes. And the dried flower stems form a base for fire drills used when making a fire. PS: The most widely known common name for Xanthorrhoea is Black Boy. This name refers to the purported similarity in appearance of the trunked species to an Aboriginal boy holding an upright spear. Some people now consider this name to be offensive, or at least belonging to the past, preferring instead to use the name Grass Tree.
Lat: -26.83, Long: 151.55
Spotted on Sep 9, 2018
Submitted on Dec 22, 2018
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