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Xylomelum pyriforme.jpg
Xylomelum pyriforme
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Genus: Xylomelum

See text

Xylomelum is a genus of six species in the plant family Proteaceae. They are native to Australia, growing in the form of tall shrubs and trees. The genus includes at least two species with the common name woody pear, Xylomelum pyriforme in the eastern states of Australia, and Xylomelum occidentale in Western Australia.



The fruits of Xylomelum are in the form of woody pears. When dried, these pears split down a central division, resulting in two halves. These "pears" are thought to have evolved primarily as a defense against seed predation. However, these woody fruits also provide protection of the seeds from fire. It is therefore likely that this characteristic was reselected in evolution as fire became increasingly important.


Recent molecular studies have Xylomelum paired as a sister clade with Lambertia.


Hoot, S.B. and Douglas, A.W. Phylogeny of Proteaceae based on atpB and atpB-rbcL intergenic spacer region sequences. Austral. Syst. Bot. 11 (1998), 301-320