Southern Blackboy, Australian Grass Tree
Native to heaths and open forests on poor, sandy soils in southeastern Australia and Tasmania, this species can form a thick trunk that can reach several meters tall and is often branching. It is usually seen charred from bush fires, hence commonly referred to in Australia as blackboy. The extremely tough and closely packed leaf bases protect the actual, much thinner trunk in its center from the heat of fires. The perfectly spherical crown is formed by hundreds of wiry, arching, bluish green leaves, about 1 m (3 ft.) long and only 1 to 4 mm across. The large, upright and unbranched inflorescence is formed eratically, usually after a fire, and can reach up to 5 m (16ft.) tall. Due to its southerly habitat, it is one of the most cold tolerant grass trees and does best in temperate regions.