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Balga or Grass Tree
Other names: Blackboy
Characteristics: Perennial monocot 4-7 m
Seeds per packet: 15
Grass trees are widely recognised throughout the world as being uniquely Australian.
Typically develops a rough crooked trunk which may be branched and often coloured black as the result of surviving many bush fires. Long narrow leaves occur on the top of the trunks.
The individual flowers are white or cream and very small, clustered together in a spear-like spike which can tower 2 metres or more above the top of the trunk.
A food source for nectar eating birds and butterflies when in flowers and seed eating birds when the seed is developing.
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Endemic to the South West of Western Australia in the Perth Region.
Prefers a light well-drained soil in an open sunny position. Frost resistant but drought tender.
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C for this species.
Xanthorrhoea germinate readily from seed with no special pre-treatment.
General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.