Xylomelum pyriforme: is a member of the Proteaceae family and is commonly known as the Woody Pear.
Xylomelum pyriforme is an erect, open shrub that may reach a height of four metres with a two metre spread.
The leaves may be entire or toothed, shiny, narrow-elliptical and up to 20 centimetres in length. Young growth is an attractive reddish colour (see right image) and is similar in shape and colour to young Waratah leaves.
Flowers are borne in short, creamy white spikes during spring.
The distinctive fruits are woody, pear-shaped and grey and up to ten centimetres long (see left image). They resemble Hakea fruits that are on steroids. Each fruit contains two winged seeds also similar to those of the Hakeas. Both foliage and fruits are interesting features.
Xylomelum pyriforme is found on the Central and North Coast and Central Tablelands of New South Wales.
The specimens illustrated are growing in the Mount Alexandra Reserve near Mittagong, south of Sydney, where the species is common.
Both genus and species names refer to the unusual fruits. From the Greek: Xylon is wood and melon a tree fruit. Pyrus is the pear genus and forma means form or shape again referring to the fruit.
There are six species and are all native to Australia.
Propagate from seed or cuttings.