Xylomelum is a genus of five 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. These are thought to have evolved primarily as a defence 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
Woody Pear is used in musical instrument making, as a top for the acoustic Stompbox
and guitar inlays by Western Australian luthier Ellis Guitars
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