Update 10/12/16: more recent photos of Xylomelum occidentale
The flowering season of woody pear trees (Xylomelum occidentale) is nearing its end. I enjoyed spectacular masses of white flowers along the southern freeway extension over the last few weeks.
My friends have many woody pears on their property in uncleared bushland (click photo for larger image). I was allowed to pick some flowers for a vase. If picked in bud, they open in a white spray and last about a week. Woody pear flowers in the wild cannot be picked because they are a native plant. (I had permission from the owner of private land.)
Black cockatoos eat woody pear seeds. They crack open the very hard seed pods with their strong beaks.
My friends collect the seed pods and wait for them to dry and open naturally to grow woody pear trees (they have a license for this). The seed pods look like angel wings when open and I’ve used them to make Christmas angel decorations.
I’m looking forward to next summer when the white blooms decorate the bush again.