• synonyms

grass tree

  1. any Australian plant of the genus Xanthorrhoea, of the lily family, having a stout, woody stem bearing a tuft of long grasslike leaves and a dense flower spike.
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Origin of grass tree

First recorded in 1795–1805
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grass tree

Historical Examples

  • The “grass-tree” (Xanthorrhoea), of the uplands and coast regions, is peculiarly Australian in its aspect.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 8


  • The grass-tree gives as distinct a character to an Australian picture as the agave and cactus do to the Mexican landscape.

  • Aphyllanthe, grass-tree tribe; characterised by a rush-like habit and membranous imbricated bracts.

    Everyday Objects

    W. H. Davenport Adams

  • The 'black boy,' as the grass-tree is called in the west, is often weird, and is essentially Australian.

    Australian Pictures

    Howard Willoughby

  • Some grass-tree country was also passed, covered with quartz pebbles, white, or colored with oxide of iron.

    The Overland Expedition of The Messrs. Jardine

    Frank Jardine and Alexander Jardine

British Dictionary definitions for grass tree

grass tree

  1. Also called: black boy, yacca, yacka any plant of the Australian genus Xanthorrhoea, having a woody stem, stiff grasslike leaves, and a spike of small white flowers: family Xanthorrhoeaceae . Some species produce fragrant resinsSee also acaroid gum
  2. any of several similar Australasian plants
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012