Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An Australian plant of the juncaceous genus Xanthorrhœa, having a stout trunk-like caudex bearing a tuft of long, grass-like, wiry foliage, and a tall flower-stalk with a dense cylindrical spike of small flowers. They abound in a resin known as blackboy gum or acaroid gum. Also called blackboy or blackboy-tree.
- n. In Australia, a tree of the lily family, Kingia australis, resembling species of Xanthorrhœa.
- n. In Tasmania, either of two trees of the family Epacridaceæ, Cystanthe dracophylla and C. pandanifolia, the latter usually called giant grass-tree, and ofteu raising its long, slender, naked stems, which bear one or several huge crowns of long waving leaves, far above the surrounding vegetation.
- n. In New Zealand: A tree of the family Araliaceæ, Pseudopanax crassifolius, with very variable leaves, those of the young plants being from one to three feet long and but half an inch wide. It is then usually called umbrella-tree, from the way in which the rib-like leaves stand out.
- n. A name formerly given to the ti, Tætsia australis.
“They spread out like the top of the grass-tree, and the fruit has a large kernel about the size of an egg, with a hard shell; the inside has the taste of a cocoa-nut, but when roasted is like a potato.”
“I passed over steep ridges, densely covered with large tea-trees or with other scrub, after which I emerged upon open sandy downs, covered with low shrubs or bushes, and frequently having patches of good grass interspersed; the grass-tree was here met with for the first time, but not very abundantly.”
“Wylie went out to search for food, but got nothing, whilst I unharnessed and attended to the horses, which were a good deal fagged, and then prepared the camp and made the fires for the night: I could get nothing but grass-tree for this purpose, but it was both abundant and dry.”
“The high bluff and craggy hills, whose tops we had formerly seen, stood out now in bold relief, with a low level tract of country stretching to their base, covered with dwarf brush, heathy plants and grass-tree, with many intervals of open grassy land, and abounding in kangaroos.”
“A weapon intermediate between the “Jin-dagi” and the full-length spear of manhood is the scape of the grass-tree”
“Where the grass-tree grows plentifully the long, slender leaves are snapped off into about six-inch lengths and are used similarly to the creeping palm darts and with like accuracy.”
“Our equipment for sport consisted of a tomahawk and a grass-tree spear so frail that any of the mullet could have swum off with it without inconvenience.”
“* The numbers seen by us were indeed incredible; the stem of every grass-tree (xanthorrhoea) which plant grows abundantly upon the hills, was covered with them, and on their taking wing the air appeared, as it were, in perfect motion.”
“Next she plaited fishing lines from grass-tree fibre, and fashioned hooks from the bones of slaughtered birds and animals, to catch the fish which abounded near the rocks.”
“You'll never sleep on a sweeter bed,' he said, sniffing the resinous fragrance of the grass-tree tops.”
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