Blackboy facts for kids
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|Xanthorrhoea drummondii in Avon Valley National Park|
Xanthorrhoea drummondii, commonly known as blackboy, grasstree or Drummond's balga, is a species of grasstree of the genus Xanthorrhoea native to Western Australia.
The perennial grass tree can grow to a height of 4.5 metres (15 ft) with the trunk reaching 2 metres (7 ft), scape of 0.5 metres (1.6 ft) and the flower spike to 1.8 metres (6 ft). It blooms between September and November producing yellow-white flowers.
The stem is usually simple with a single crown. Young leaves in form a stiffly erect tuft with older leaves often strongly reflexed forming a skirt around the stem. The glaucous grey-green leaves are quadrate-rhombic in cross-section and about 1.8 to 2.5 millimetres (0.07 to 0.10 in) wide and 1.3 to 2.3 millimetres (0.05 to 0.09 in) thick.
The species was first formally described by the botanist William Henry Harvey in 1855 as part of Hooker's Journal of Botany and Kew Garden Miscellany.
The species is found in the Perth hills and in coastal areas of the Mid West, Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions of Western Australia where it grows in sandy soils over laterite.
X. drummondii is cultivated in gardens and is easily grown from seed. It prefers a light well-drained soil in full sun. It is both drought tolerant and frost resistant.
Images for kids
The "trunk" of Xanthorrhoea is a hollow ring of accumulated leaf bases. Nutrient transport is via aerial roots that run down the centre.
5-metre-tall Xanthorrhea drummondii in the Avon Valley National Park, Western Australia
X. australis flower spike, flowering
X. preissii flower spike, after fruiting