An Australian Government Initiative [logo]
Aboriginal Plant Use in SE Australia
ANBG logo

10 Grass Tree

Xanthorrhoea species

Habitat: Coastal heaths, wet and dry forests
Season: All year

From top to bottom, this plant had many uses.

Flowers: People collected nectar from the long flowering spikes. The stalks from old flowers and fruits were used for tinder in making fire.

Flower stem: You can see that the tall brown stalks could make spear shafts. The soft wood provided the base for a fire-drill in making fire.

Leaves: The soft bases of the young leaves were eaten. Tough leaves were used as knives.

Barbed hunting spear
Barbed hunting spear with base made from Grass Tree flower stalk.
fire drill
The base of this fire drill is made from the soft wood of the Grass Tree flower stalk.

Xanthorrhoea sp. resin

Stump: People collected resin from the base of each leaf and used it as an adhesive.

Roots: People living in the Port Lincoln area in South Australia enjoyed eating the roots surrounding the stem base.

A lump of Grass Tree resin can be seen at the left.


^ top