Cultivation Notes

Australian Grass Tree

Scientific Name: XANTHORRHOEA preissii

Common Name: Australian Grass Tree

Alternative Common Name: Palga, Balga

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Height: Up to 0.5–2m (7′)

Width: Up to 0.7m (2′)

Description: A distinctive Australian very slow growing evergreen plant with its striking, unusual trunk and shock of thin grass-like leaves 1.5m (5′) in length sprouting from the top.

Flowers: In late Winter or early Spring it produces a flower spike up to 3.5m (11′) long from the head of the plant The minute white flowers are clustered thickly along the whole of the flower spike.

Soil: Prefers sandy soils, but can adapt well to several soil types; eg. grey to black sands, grey-brown loam, brown gravelly sandy clay, laterite, granite. Ranges, coastal plain, near watercourses.

Aspects: Very slow growing, takes many years to grow to full height

Habitat: Occurs naturally in south-western parts of Western Australia from about Geraldton to Albany. Adapts to other areas of Australia and beyond, given suitable soils and growing conditions.

Growing: Starts readily from seed. Fill 10 cm (4″) pots with moist sandy soil, wet thoroughly and compress. Place 2-3 seeds flat on the soil in each pot, cover seeds lightly with soil.Water gently and cover pots with clear polythene. Remove when germination starts in 3-6 weeks. Place pots in warm, shaded position and keep moist.

Landscape: Open gardens or rockeries. Grows well in large pots.

Cultivation: Plant seedlings out at about 10cm(4″) high. Water in well after transplanting, water regularly until established then once a week in dry weather for quicker growth. Responds well to light applications of organic or slow release fertilisers. Careful watering and maintenance required.

Seed Starter Required: Helpful.