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Xanthorrhoea Species, Australian Grass Tree, Square Leaved Grass Tree

Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata

Family: Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Xanthorrhoea (zan-thor-ROH-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: quadrangulata (kwad-ran-gew-LAY-tuh) (Info)


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


This plant is fire-retardant

Foliage Color:




4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Encino, California

San Leandro, California

Winters, California

Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii

Keaau, Hawaii

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Orchidlands Estates, Hawaii

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 12, 2008, CasInAu from Brisbane,
Australia wrote:

I have propagated Xanthorrhoea Johnsonii from seeds collected from a flowering spear, I have 4 plants in my garden and 3 in pots and approx 80 seeds growing in Brisbane. I have not burned my plants or smoked them... they will put up a spear without this, I think they just need a good year...
So far this year I have propagated 80 odd baby plants from seeds...From two different Grass Trees.

These are great plants and I am having a fun time learning more about them!
Your options of when to plant the seed was not exactly right and you can find out what I did at the blog site. Cheers Carol


On Jan 21, 2004, deekayn from Tweed Coast,
Australia wrote:

Xanthorrhoea arborea and X. macronema are drought-resistant but frost tender, while X. australis is frost-resistant but not drought-tolerant. All require smoke from our bush fires to germinate the seeds; hence it is hard to progagate from seed without special equipment. Here in Australia it is MUCH easier to buy advanced plants for the garden.


On Jul 9, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a very slow growing plant highly sought after by collectors. There are about 30 species, but only 3-4 are found in culitavation in the US. They are very reminiscent of Dasylirion (the Mexican Grass Tree), Beucarnia/Nolina (also sometimes referred to as grass trees) and some finer Yucca/ Agave species. They have densely bushy crowns of long, stiff, slightly sharp-edged leaves that look a bit like yucca spines. Some have very attractive bluish leaves that make striking landscape specimens. The flowers shoot out the tops similar to the other plants mentioned above, and then dry as the sharp, triangular seeds develop by the thousands- the wind blows them and spreads them about (though, in the US, germination is extremely unlikely without help). Moving plants once they have estab... read more