Cordyline australis

Cabbage Tree

In Stock: 1.369 lb (Total:1.368lb)
  • Cordyline australis

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Buying options

1.37 lb


Germination test:
Cut (Full Seed)
Seeds per lb:
1.37 lb
Collected in:
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in hot tap water
Stratification: none required
Germination: sow seed 1/16" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Other: Seed needs warm temperatures after sowing to germinate (75 degrees F +) 

Introducing the Cordyline australis Cabbage Tree: A Characteristic Feature of the New Zealand Landscape

The Cordyline australis, commonly known as the cabbage tree, is a unique and widely recognized feature of the New Zealand landscape. This monocot tree, endemic to New Zealand, can grow up to an impressive height of 20 meters (66 feet), boasting a stout trunk and sword-like leaves that cluster at the branch tips. The leaves can reach up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) in length, giving the tree its distinctive appearance.

Not only is the cabbage tree visually striking, but it also plays a vital role in the New Zealand ecosystem. Its fruit serves as a popular food source for native birds, including the New Zealand pigeon. This tree is abundant across a wide range of habitats, from forest margins to river banks, and is often found near swamps.

With its hardy and fast-growing nature, the Cordyline australis is a favored choice for gardens, parks, and streets in New Zealand. It is regularly planted and cultivated due to its versatility and aesthetic appeal. There are also numerous cultivars available to suit different preferences.

While the cabbage tree is native to New Zealand, it has also found a place in the Northern Hemisphere with maritime climates. It is grown as an ornamental tree in regions such as the upper West Coast of the United States and the British Isles, where it is known as the Torbay palm or Torquay palm. However, it is not suitable for hot tropical climates.

The Cordyline australis has not only captivated garden enthusiasts but also holds great significance in Māori culture. Known as tī kōuka to the Māori people, this tree has been used for various purposes, including food, fiber, and traditional medicine.

Intriguingly, the appearance of the Cordyline australis can vary depending on its location in New Zealand. Different regional provenances have been named by the Māori people, reflecting the tree's adaptability to local climates and factors. These variations can influence canopy shape, branch size, leaf color, and stiffness, adding to the charm of this remarkable tree.

Whether for its visual appeal, ecological importance, or cultural significance, the Cordyline australis Cabbage Tree remains an iconic and cherished feature of the New Zealand landscape.

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