These plants are also known as grasstrees, and by the Noongar people of the South West, balga. In the bush, the flower spikes can serve as a compass. The flowers on the warmer, north facing side tend to open before the flowers on the cooler side facing away from the sun. Xanthorrhoea resin was traditionally used as an adhesive for attaching spearheads and repairing wooden containers. When soaked in water, the nectar from the flowers makes a sweet tasting drink.