1 gen., Aust.

Xanthorrhoea Sm.

28 species endemic Aust.; all states and territories

Perennials with woody secondarily thickened aerial or subterranean stems densely covered with leaf bases. Leaves narrow-linear, entire, in a terminal crown. Flowers arranged in numerous monochasial cymes packed together into a large cylindrical spike-like or a head-like inflorescence on a leafless scape; bracts numerous with often larger cluster bracts subtending groups of flowers and even more numerous packing bracts giving the spike its characteristic appearance. Perianth segments free, ± membranous. Stamens 6, exserted, white. Ovary 3-locular, with several ovules per loculus, superior; style simple. Fruit a capsule. The species with aerial stems are often known as Grass Trees or Blackboys.