Grass tree, Xanthorrhoea australis

Grass tree, Xanthorrhoea australis

Port Jackson Painter
Watercolour and ink, c1788 - 1797 © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Watling collection

Resin from the grass tree was an important base material in the manufacture of weapons, tools and other implements.

The resin could be heated and melted, and then set hard when cooled. It could be used to connect stone axe-heads to wooden handles and spear tips to their shafts. A sweet drink was made from the plant’s flowers.

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The Art of the First Fleet book

The Art of the First Fleet book

Enjoy rare watercolours, ink and pencil drawings and some of the only visual records of the lives of the indigenous Eora people of Australia.

These beautiful illustrations, by artists on board the First Fleet, document the sights witnessed by the first Europeans to colonise Australia.

Buy The Art of the First Fleet online