I started this blog with a post about transplanting Xanthorrhoea (grass trees) in Perth gardens. A few people have commented on what amazing landscaping we have in Perth. I agree that the plants growing in Australia are pretty amazing – it’s a good place to live.
But I based that post on a mistake. I said the Xanthorrhoea didn’t survive being transplanted, but they really are hardy and the winter rain must have revived it. This spring it’s sprouting new green growth (see above photo). A Xanthorrhoea in a different garden that was turning brown and looking sickly is now flowering; the first time I’ve seen this in a transplanted Xanthorrhoea.
When Xanthorrhoea flower, they grow a green flower stalk from their crown. Numerous small white flowers cover this and when the flowers die, the stalk turns orange.
Since September I’ve seen flower stalks on original Xanthorrhoea in nearby gardens; these plants are hundreds of years old and were not cleared when houses were built. I’ve also seen flower stalks on transplanted Xanthorrhoea in road verge landscaping and at Curtin University. And the Xanthorrhoea at Star Swamp that were burnt at the end of last summer are flowering in profusion. Setting fire to a Xanthorrhoea is a sure way to make it flower the following spring, but you shouldn’t try this at home because they’re highly flammable. My dad told me about a person who set fire to a Xanthorrhoea in his garden, his house caught fire and burnt down.
Grasstrees Australia, in outer suburban Perth, sell grass trees (Xanthorrhoea preissii), Kingia australis, zamia (Macrozamia fraseri) and Western Australian Christmas trees (Nuytsia floribunda) that have been rescued from cleared land. The plant below was transplanted to a garden in my neighbourhood and is now flowering.