Our iconic native Cabbage Tree has a tropical and exotic air which has ensured its continued popularity in modern landscape design. If you have ever travelled to Europe or the UK you will be aware that gardeners there just can';t get enough of our Cordylines and they are literally "as common as muck" though that does not mean they should be under-rated in any way. The long strapy pointed foliage comes in shades of rich green right through to deep purple with a few "variegations" along the way. The sweetly scented flowers are always cream and produced in drooping panicles from about November to December.
The common name of Cabbage Tree came about because the tender young shoots from the heart of the tree were used by NZ';s early settlers as a food source. Can';t say I';ll be trying them anytime soon as I have a hard enough job with plain everyday Cabbage. Maori also valued the stems and roots of Cordyline kirkii Te Tawhiti as a source of sugar or sweetener. So you can see that Cabbage trees though considered very "today" have played an important role in our early history.
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As a garden plant they make excellent specimens but add more drama when planted in groups of 3 or more. They are also ideal for container planting. Cordylines are very tolerant of just about any position in the garden, wet or dry, windy or sunny. They regenerate easily if the stem is cut to either reduce height or tidy the plant and are unbelievably forgiving of even the most neglectful gardener.
The falling leaves can be a nuisance - don't be tempted to mow them up - you and your mower will soon regret it. The way to get around this problem is to groom your Cordylines regularly, they will look all the better for it. There is one problem with Cordylines however and it';s the grub or caterpillar produced by a native moth. This little pest loves to munch on the foliage and can make a plant look tatty quite quickly. Regularly check in the centre of your plants and either squash the offender with your fingers or spray with an organic insecticide. If you prefer something systemic chemical sprays can also be used with care.
So if you're looking for something sweet and nutritious that will add form and function to your garden then our native Cabbage tree is definitely the plant for you. Bon apetit!
Native. A most handsome and striking form of our native 'Cabbage Tree'. The green swords of foliage are heavily banded with rich cream blushed with just a little pink. Looks magnificent in a container or group planted for extra impact. Tolerates sun or part shade. Evergreen.
This Cordyline is very popular in Britain and has been awarded a Certificate of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Colour: Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 1.5m
Container: 2.5l ?
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Native. The ubiquitous green Cabbage Tree has earned its place as a NZ icon both in the natural and cultivated landscape. Rich green sword-like foliage that forms a broad head on top of a strong trunk. Panicles of fragrant cream flowers in summer. Grow in sun or part shade. Evergreen.
Cordylines look best planted in groups of 3 or more. They will also do well as a container plant.
Colour: Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 2m
Burgundy Spire sports glossy, deep burgundy long narrow leaves and grows to around 4m in height. It makes an excellent accent along walls, behind mid height plants and as living dividers in the landscape. Looks great in pots. Burgundy Spire's foliage looks great from top to bottom; no unattractive naked ankles. Excellent in trios. Evergreen
Native. A stunning new hybrid form of NZ's Cabbage Tree. Long, wide cascading strap like leaves of high gloss shine in deep maroon on an attractive silhouette form. Looks fabulous in the garden. Sprays of small fragrant flowers in late spring-summer. Evergreen.
Cordyline Jive has been bred in Te Awamutu and has unique variegated foliage. The new leaves emerge a variegated cream and bright green colour. As the plant matures the variegation changes to yellow and dark green. Plant in full sun or part shade. Prefers well drained soil.
Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 1.5m
A stunning hybrid form of NZ's Cabbage Tree bred by the Jury family. Long, cascading strap like leaves of deep maroon form an attractive clump. Looks great in the garden and fabulous in a container. Sprays of small fragrant flowers in late spring-summer. PVR. Evergreen.
This 'Cabbage Tree' seldom forms a trunk and remains a nice compact clump. Looks good planted in groups of 3 or more and is happiest planted in the sun.
Colour: Pink / White Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
Native. This hybrid cabbage tree has been selected for its deeply coloured burgundy foliage. Combines well with other foliage colours. Makes a dramatic impact in any planting scheme and looks fantastic in a container. Sun or part shade. Evergreen.
Colour: White / Cream Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 1.5m