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Products > Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata
Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata - Mt. Lofty Grass-tree
Image of Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata (Mt. Lofty Grass-tree) - Slow growing large upright growing plant with a thick woody trunk and grass-like foliage. The branching trunks can reach to 6 feet tall and has the rough texture of the base of older leaves while the 2-4 foot long blue-green leaves radiate from a fountain-like rosette at the top of the trunk. When the plant matures it blooms irregularly during the spring, producing 6-12 feet tall stalks bearing small nectar-rich flowers. Bracts surrounding old flowers are dark brown. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Tolerates little or no irrigation or a regular water regime. Hardy to at least 20 F. An interesting and attractive sculptural plant in the garden. Though still considered to be fairly slow growing it is one of the fastest growing of the Australian Grass-trees. It occurs in south-eastern regions from the Vincent Gulf to the northern Mt. Lofty Ranges where it inhabits rocky sites such as along ridges but also on heavy clay soils. Xanthorrhoea is a genus with about 30 species endemic to Australia that was once included in the large lily family, the Liliaceace, but taxonomists later placed it in its own montypic family that also included such genera as Kingia, Dasypogon and Lomandra. The current nomenclature has it in its own subfamily, the Xanthorrhoeoideae, as part of the large Asphodel family, the Asphodelaceae, which includes such other familiar plants as Aloe, Bulbine, Dianella, Hemerocallis, Kniphofia and Phormium. Though often associated with succulents or trees, the Xanthorrhoea are actually long lived perennials with secondary thickening wood-like meristem forming in the stems. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'xanthos', meaning "yellow" and 'rheo' meaning "to flow" in reference to the resin of this plant that was collected from around the base of the stem by Aboriginal Australians who heated and rolled it into balls and used it for various purposes. The specific epithet is from the Latin words 'quadra' (from 'quattuor') meaning four and 'angulata' (from 'angular') meaning "angled" for the four-angled or squarish shape of the leaf cross section. Other common names for Xanthorrhoea include grasstree, grass gum-tree (for the resin-yielding species), kangaroo tail. An early colonial name was "blackboy" but this name is now appropriately considered offensive and politically incorrect. This name was purportedly based on the look of the fire blackened trunks with foliage and tall inflorescence spike emerging at the top appearing as similar to that of an Aboriginal man holding an upright spear. We list this name here strictly for its historical significance and not to suggest it ever be used now as common name. There are a large number of specimens of this species on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia California. We have grown this plant in the past but our current crops are from seed received in 2019 that was collected from selected specimens in their natural habitat in Australia by Atilla Kapitany, plant explorer, lecturer and author of Australian Grass Trees Xanthorrhoea and Kingia and Australian Succulent PlantsThe information about Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.