Xanthorrhoea preissii

Common Name:
Grass tree
Plant Type:
Evergreen perennial
Liliaceae (The Lily Family)
Geographic Origin:
California Native?:
Plant Size:
To 10 feet high
Landscape/Garden Uses:
Mixed plantings
Flowering Season:
Spring and summer
Flower Color:
Sun or light shade
Well-drained soil
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to occasional watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 15-20 degrees F.
Imagine a narrow leaved bunchgrass with a trunk, and you have a fair image of this strange plant. It spends its first several years as a dense fountain of arching, almost threadlike, dark green leaves. Eventually it forms a stout, black trunk, which extends very slowly to an ultimate height of 10 feet or more, and the leaves become successively longer, until they reach 2-4 feet. Older plants bear thick candles of tiny white flowers, held on long stalks above the foliage. A bizarre yet highly ornamental plant for containers, or dotted over banks or hillsides, or planted like the cordylines and yuccas as specimen-shrub substitutes. Sun or light shade, well drained soil, moderate to occasional watering.