grass tree

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grass tree

1. any plant of the Australian genus Xanthorrhoea, having a woody stem, stiff grasslike leaves, and a spike of small white flowers: family Xanthorrhoeaceae. Some species produce fragrant resins
2. any of several similar Australasian plants
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grass Tree


any one treelike monocotyledonous plant of the genus Xanthorrhoea. In a broader sense, a special life-form to which are assigned the genera Xanthorrhoea, Kingia, Dasypo-gon, and Pandanus. (The first three genera are in the family Xanthorrhoeaceae.)

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Grass trees are a great example, having a skirt of long, thin leaves, with a flower spike emerging from the centre bearing numerous, small, white flowers that attract the pollinating visitors.
What the Aussies and the Kiwis once saw as little more than weeds - those marvellous tree ferns (Dicksonia antartica and Cyathea australis), the grass trees, the New Zealand flax (phormiums) and bottle brushes (callistemons) - and dumped on the tip with the rest of the week's garden refuse, we are importing in increasing quantities.
Mort and Viv took us through the bush talking freely about their foods, their plants, trees, ways of living and surviving in the bush, the multiple ways of using grass trees, Xanthorrhoea species, as a food (the nutritious section of the inner plant), a medicine, a house (curl up under the lower fronds where the ground is always dry), a bed (make a base with the older fronds and use the newer ones as a waterproof layer on top), a fuel (burn the trunk on the fire) and for implements and furniture (from the main trunk).