Saturday, March 01, 2008

Black Boy

No no dear reader, I am not going down that path again.

These plants are known as black boys. They have a more proper, but non botanical name. Sometimes they are called, ever so boringly, native grass trees.

For them to grow to this size takes many many years. I suppose they are flowers that they have sent up. I have never seen them like that before. I would hazard a guess and say they are worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars at this size.

Normally their trunks are black but these very mature models are a bit different. They are perfectly adapted to bush fire prone Australia. A fire will only burn off the green leaves and they will grow again.

It is a rather nice highish rise apartment building in Albert Road, South Melbourne with good views of Albert Park and the lake, except at the moment the views are of Grand Prix infrastructure.


  1. They are beautiful Andrew but as you say oh sooo expensive.. I haven't seen any that big in the wild though...maybe I don't venture far enough off the beaten track and I think people pinch them so they never get too big along the roadsides.

  2. Gardening Australia, a couple of years ago, estimated they cost approx. $100- $200 per foot of trunk height and were roughly 100 years old per foot height (depending on species). Lovely Aussie native but sadly lacking in their natural landscape these days.

  3. These must have cost a fortune then Jayne. We did see some large some somewhere, perhaps in NT.

  4. LiD, I'd reckon many disappear that way. I think they would grow much more quickly when cultivated in the right conditions.

  5. Lots of them in The Brisbane Ranges round Anakie way (between Melb and Geelong) and they sprout out into yellow flowers after extreme heat (ie bushfire) apparently.
    Those apartments had a very canny landscaper to use bomb-proof plants.
    Don't get me started on Grid Girls and GP shenanigans.

  6. Anonymous6:30 pm

    They grow wild in Western Australia and pretty much off the side of the road. Ugly plants, I never saw the attraction in them when I lived in Perth and still don't, and couldn't understand why you would wanna pay for them here.

  7. Good to hear that there are plenty in the natural environment Dys. We have grid guys this year as well. I hate the sexual exploitation of men like that.

    Anon, they only appeal to me because they are so old and so slow growing. They must have seen a lot of history and been through many fires.

  8. They remind me of Port Douglas, and balmy nights. Funny how even a plant can transport you to another place.

    Thanks for the lovely email Andrew.

  9. We could call it the 'red geranium in a window box effect' Rosanna. :)