Woody pear

Xylomelum pyriforme

"Xylomelum pyriforme", commonly known as the woody pear, is a species of plant in the family Proteaceae native to eastern Australia. It grows as a large shrub or small tree to five metres high.
Woody pear  Australia,Geotagged,Winter,Woody pear,Xylomelum pyriforme

Appearance

"Xylomelum pyriforme" grows as a large shrub or small tree, usually reaching 4–5 m high, although trees to 15 m have been recorded in the Howes Valley northwest of Sydney. The large juvenile leaves have dentate margins with 6 to 11 teeth along each edge, while the adult leaves have entire margins. The prominently veined leaves measure 10 to 20 cm and are up to 5 cm wide. They are glabrous and dark green. New growth is covered in a fine rust-coloured fur. Flowering takes place from September to November, peaking in October. The inflorescences measure 5 to 8 cm and are rusty coloured. Flowers are followed by the development of the large, woody, pear-shaped seed pod which is up to 9 cm long and 5 cm wide.

Distribution

The plant's range is from the New South Wales mid-north coast south to Mittagong, with an outlying record from the vicinity of Cooma. "Xylomelum pyriforme" grows on plateau and ridges in nutrient-poor well-drained sandstone soils in open eucalypt woodland. It is associated with such species as yellow bloodwood, red bloodwood, scribbly gum, silvertop ash, brown stringybark, grey gum and scribbly gum.

Habitat

The plant's range is from the New South Wales mid-north coast south to Mittagong, with an outlying record from the vicinity of Cooma. "Xylomelum pyriforme" grows on plateau and ridges in nutrient-poor well-drained sandstone soils in open eucalypt woodland. It is associated with such species as yellow bloodwood, red bloodwood, scribbly gum, silvertop ash, brown stringybark, grey gum and scribbly gum."Xylomelum pyriforme" regenerates from a lignotuber or epicormic buds after bushfires, and can sucker from the roots. It is one of a number of Australian species that require a fire to open and disperse their seeds.

The fungus "Giugnardia" causes leaf spot, while "Cephaleutos virescens" is responsible for an algal leaf spot.

Uses

Rarely seen in cultivation due to the scarcity of seed, "Xylomelum pyriforme" seedlings grow readily but commonly quickly succumb to damping off. A plant may take 20 years to reach flowering stage from seed.

Early European settlers of Australia used the tree's wood to make gun stocks.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderProteales
FamilyProteaceae
GenusXylomelum
SpeciesX. pyriforme
Photographed in
Australia