Over the weekend, local residents visited these beautiful Xanthorrhoea or Grass Trees which are in flower now in the forest in Wandella, burnt in the recent summer fires.
Xanthorrhoea are often very long-lived; some are estimated to be 350-450 years old. Studies of species that develop tall trunks indicate that increase in trunk height is mostly slow, about 0.8-6 cm per year. They flower in spirally arranged clusters (see the close up image below).
Bush Heritage Australia explains that “many species have an amazing ability to survive fire. A fire may burn their leaves and blacken their trunks, but the trees usually survive: the living growth-point is buried underground, protected by tightly packed leaf bases. In fact, some grass trees are stimulated by fire – in the spring after a summer bushfire, large numbers of plants can flower.”
You can read more about Xanthorrhoea in this Bush Heritage Australia story.
Thank you to Thea Constantaridis for sharing these beautiful photos.