Thursday 31 October 2013


Cordyline australis, commonly known as the "cabbage tree", is a widely branched monocot tree endemic to New Zealand. It grows up to 20 metres tall with a stout trunk and sword-like leaves, which are clustered at the tips of the branches and can be up to 1 metre long. With its tall, straight trunk and dense, rounded heads, C. australis is a characteristic feature of the New Zealand landscape. Its fruit is a favourite food source for the New Zealand pigeon and other native birds.

It grows in a broad range of habitats, including forest margins, river banks and open places, and is abundant near swamps. The largest known tree with a single trunk is growing at Pakawau, Golden Bay. It is estimated to be 400 or 500 years old, and stands 17 metres tall with a circumference of 9 metres at the base.

Known to Māori as tī kōuka, the tree was used as a source of food, particularly in the South Island, where it was cultivated in areas where other crops would not grow. It provided durable fibre for textiles, anchor ropes, fishing lines, baskets, waterproof rain capes and cloaks, and sandals.

Hardy and fast growing, C. australis is widely planted in New Zealand and Australian gardens, parks and streets, and numerous cultivars are available. It is also grown as an ornamental tree in Northern Hemisphere countries with mild maritime climates, including the warmer parts of the British Isles, where its common names include Torquay palm.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


  1. Beautiful are your photos!
    Greetings, RW & SK

  2. I love the close up of the flowers.

  3. Great pictures and information.
    Wish I could plant and Cordyline australis,in our garden.


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