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Edible uses


The pith of the stem is eaten raw or roasted, it has an agreeable nutty taste that is slightly balsamic[1]. It contains about 41% carbohydrate, 3.5% protein and traces of vitamin C[1]. It is possible to extract sugar from the stem[1].

Leaf bases - chewed[2]. They are hard to detach from the plant[2]. They sometimes taste sweet and juicy though more often they are tough and astringent[1]. The flowers produce an abundance of nectar and this can be collected from the flowers, either by sucking the flowers or by cooking them up to produce a syrup[2].

The root might be edible[2].


Unknown part

Material uses

A resin collects around the bases of old leaves and can be collected by beating the stems[3]. It can be used as a varnish for wood or metal[4][5][3] and as an incense[5]. It can also be used as a size, a sealing wax, mahogany stain for wood and medicinally[3]. It makes a good glue[1]. The gum is soft and pliable when heated over a flame but it cools to a rock-hard consistency[1]. The flower stems are good firesticks[1].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The resin has medicinal uses[3]. No details are given.

Unknown part


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in about 5 weeks[6]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer, giving them the protection of a frame or cloche until they are growing away happily. Protect the outdoor plants for at least their first winter. Division of offsets in late spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Xanthorrhoea australis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Requires a well-drained light or medium soil and a very sunny position[7]. Succeeds in poor soils in the wild[4].

This species is not very frost-hardy in this country and normally requires greenhouse protection[8]. It tolerates temperatures down to at least -7°c in Australian gardens[K], though this cannot be translated directly to British gardens due to our cooler summers and longer colder and wetter winters. It would certainly be worthwhile trying it outdoors in the mildest areas of the country[K].

Other members of this genus should also have the same edible and non-edible uses[2][1].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Xanthorrhoea australis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Xanthorrhoea australis.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Xanthorrhoea australis
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
  • Leaves (Unknown use)
  • Unknown part (Nectar)
  • Root (Unknown use)
  • Stem (Unknown use)
Material uses
  • Unknown part (Adhesive)
  • Unknown part (Friction sticks)
  • Unknown part (Incense)
  • Unknown part (Resin)
  • Unknown part (Size)
  • Unknown part (Varnish)
Medicinal uses
  • Unknown part (Miscellany)
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    1 x 1 meters
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Low. T. Wild Food Plants of Australia. Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14383-8 (1989-00-00)
    2. ? Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia. Fontana ISBN 0-00-634436-4 (1976-00-00)
    3. ? Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    4. ? Ewart. A. J. Flora of Victoria. ()
    5. ? Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Useful Wild Plants in Australia. William Collins Pty Ltd. Sidney ISBN 0-00-216441-8 (1981-00-00)
    6. ? Wrigley. J. W. and Fagg. M. Australian Native Plants. Collins. (Australia) ISBN 0-7322-0021-0 (1988-00-00)
    7. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    8. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    9. ? Carolin. R. & Tindale. M. Flora of the Sydney Region Reed. Australia. ISBN 0730104001 (1993-00-00)