Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Black Boy

Xanthorrhoea australis


Xanthorrhoea australis, the Grass-tree or Black Boy is an Australian plant. It is the most commonly seen species of the genus Xanthorrhoea . Its fire-blackened trunk can grow up to several metres tall and is often branched. In certain Aboriginal languages, it is called 'Bukkup' or 'Kawee'. In Xanthorrhoeas, the main way to identify them is by looking at the cross-section of the leaves. In the case of the X. australis, the cross-section is a rough diamond shape, and the colour of the leaves is a bluish-green. X. australis is not often seen in bloom because this species requires fire to stimulate its reproductive cycle. However, if it does flower, a flowering spike grows out of the top of the plant. Flowers appear on the spike, usually covering 1⁄2–5⁄6 of the stem. The flowers of this particular species have 6 petals. The crown of leaves of X. australis will be almost spherical in shape, the point of each leaf perfectly marking the shape of the imagined sphere. X. australis has leaves which are softer and generally less rigid than other Xanthorrhoeas. Old leaves hang down forming a distinctive skirt-like feature that partly covers the fire-blackened trunk. X. australis flowers from July to December, but younger plants may flower in June. This species can also be found in South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania. (Wiki)


This plant seems to grow where the forest has been destroyed by fire. Something dies, something's born.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


nrvero 8 years ago

Wow, thanks!! Was searching for it but had no clue how to find it!! xx

rani.she 9 years ago

Wow you spotted this one a long time ago! If you are still interested this is Xanthorrhoea australis, commonly known as grass tree or black boy

Spotted by

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Jul 2, 2007
Submitted on Jan 1, 2012

Related Spottings

Xanthorrhoea Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata Grass Tree Xanthorrhoea

Nearby Spottings

Kango eastern grey kangaroo Paropsisterna obliterata Paropsisterna obliterata Kangaroo
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team