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Definition of "grass-tree" [grass-tree]

  • 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. (noun)
  • In Australia, a tree of the lily family, Kingia australis, resembling species of Xanthorrhœa. (noun)
  • 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. (noun)
  • 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. (noun)
  • A name formerly given to the ti, Tætsia australis. (noun)

The Century Dictionary (Public Domain)

Use "grass-tree" in a sentence
  • "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."