Crowd magnet truly a tall tail

By Amy McGillivray

When Bill and Shirley Everitt bought a cactus eight-and-a-half years ago they did not expect it to grow seven metres tall.

"We were told it would grow to one-and-a-half metres if it did grow at all," Mr Everitt said. Their Xanthorrhoea australis, more commonly known as a kangaroo tail, began to flower in May and the flower stem is now about seven metres tall.

"They are temperamental things. Some will go for 20-odd years and not flower," he said.

His plant had grown so fast you could almost see it growing, he added. "It grew about a foot a day - faster than bamboo."

The monstrous plant in their front yard has attracted a lot of attention from neighbours of the Maungatapu couple. "We've had a constant stream of people pull up here to have a look at it."

He said the plant was common in Australia.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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