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A Very Strange Flower

Sorry to be giving you more garden posts, but this has just happened in my garden, and I’m quite excited.

When I bought this house,  the front garden (which is all indigenous Australian plants) had a xanthorrhoea  growing (pronounced zan-thor-ee-a) . They’re better known as a grass tree, but I learned to identify them at university so I use the long name. 

Xanthorrhoeas have a thick, gnarly dark trunk, with a burst of long green, grass-like leaves growing from the top. They’re very slow growing and can live in the wild for decades. The taller the trunk the older the plant. You can hardly see the trunk of mine, so it’s quite young, comparatively speaking.

When I moved in, mine had a tall spear-shaped spike, which is one of the things that make it famous here. The spike fell off after a few months and I thought that was that. 

But recently it grew three new spikes — I’d never seen three spikes before — and even more exciting, one of them was covered in tiny star-shaped flowers. I didn’t even know they could have flowers. There were a few bees crawling over it, so presumably they have nectar, too.  That’s it below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Margot
Margot
14 days ago

That is an amazing tree. I love those flowers on it they look so delicate and so pretty. They look like snowflakes. Thank you so much for showing us this unique tree.

Anne
Anne
12 days ago
Reply to  Margot

Thanks, Margot — it’s fascinating, I agree. The bees seem to like the flowers, too.

Christine
Christine
14 days ago

Wow, what a wonderful plant. Thank you for showing us this.

Anne
Anne
12 days ago
Reply to  Christine

Thanks, Christine. I’ve known and liked these plants all my life but never knew they could have flowers like this.

Katharine
Katharine
14 days ago

Living outside of Chicago Illinois USA. I love your posts which show me a totally different life! You are never boring and even the little snippets you put in are interesting and informative. I learn something from you every time I read your blog! Please keep it up!
katharine

Anne
Anne
12 days ago
Reply to  Katharine

Thanks for that lovely comment, Katharine. We writers don’t often have very exciting lives, I fear, so I’m very glad you don’t find these post boring.

VickiL
VickiL
9 days ago

That is fascinating. That all the little flowers are on the tree trunk. Some times Red Bud’s put out flowers on the tree trunk/branches, but nothing to the degree this tree has flowers. Also very gorgeous flowers. How lucky are you to see this in your garden.