Friday, April 22, 2011

The Woody Pear

Pear shaped seed pods of Xylomelum angustifolium from WA
I am reading Barbara York Main's book in which she writes fondly of the Woody Pear tree growing in small pockets of uncleared bushland in the Western Australian Wheatbelt: Tassels of heavy scented, small white tubular flowers hung from the terminal branchlets of the woody pear trees... distal to the bizarre clumps of 'pears' arranged in groups along the branches, each clump representing the fruits of past successive flowerings. Growing elsewhere in association with the 'pears' the large orange flower heads of Banksia prionotes were coming into bloom.......
The Woody Pear tree of New South Wales is Xylomelum pyriforme and as a protected plant it cannot be propagated or offered for sale in Nurseries. I once saw a specimen growing in an old "mansion" garden in the Sydney suburb of Darling Point. It was probably left behind amongst the largely exotic plantings because of the quaintly decorative fruit which were a popular florist item before the protection status was given in the mid 20th century.

Xylomelum pyriforme
Woody Pear by Edward Minchen (1862-1913)


  1. Protected plant? Why does this mean it cannot be propegated?

  2. Protected plants require permission from National Parks and Wildlife regarding collection of plant material