Cordyline australis

Cabbage Tree

(53 customer reviews)

From: £391.95

The Cabbage Palm, is one of the most renowned plants indigenous to New Zealand, and has since become very popular in cultivation in the UK.

Cordyline australis typically grows as a single or multiple trunk tall tree with pale to dark grey corky bark, sporting iconic sword-shaped grey-green leaves that grow up to a metre long, and produces panicles of fragrant, sweetly perfumed white flowers in late spring.

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Origin: New Zealand
Genus: Cordyline
Species / Cultivar: australis
Common Name: Cabbage Tree
Synonym: Dracaena australis

Plant Biography

Native to New Zealand where it’s known to the Māori as ‘tī kōuka’, and grows at the margins of forests, frequently near swamps. It has historically been eaten by native New Zealanders, who bake the root or brew it into an intoxicating drink. The Māori also use parts of the plant to treat a variety of injuries and illnesses.

You may have seen Cordyline Australis with either single unbranched stems or forked branches. This is because the plant only divides into forks after its first flowering, which typically occurs at 6 to 10 years of age.

Cordyline australis
Soil: Moist but Well Drained
Soil that allows water to drain at a moderate rate, without the water pooling.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 5-7m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 2-3m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.

Expert Tip

Cordyline australis' branches may fork after producing a flower stem. The flowers appear within pink tinged bracts which protect them before they open.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

The Cabbage Palm can grow in a container, though it develops a taproot and thus requires a large, deep contained for best growth. Specimens grown in a container are unlikely to flower.

Planted in the ground it usually flowers (and thus forks) after about 6 to 10 years, but the right conditions can bring the flowering to 3 years of age.

Beautiful specimen of a cordyline, large and healthy ,am well impressed, was so happy to see it arrive today, thanks so much


Beautiful specimen of a cordyline, large and healthy ,am well impressed, was so happy to see it arrive today, thanks so much

53 customer reviews for Cordyline australis

Superb plant,healthy and bigger than I expected.Well packaged,cant wait to watch it grow.


Delivered well within the stated time, well packaged and seemingly in good condition. One very small and insignificant gripe and that was that I received no e-mail to say that the item had been dispatched. All in all a very pleasing transaction which will be repeated as and when.

Dave Phillips

I had been in contact with the Palm Centre as we have a mature (25 /30 year old Cordyline australis in the garden and wanted another. I needed delivery guaranteed within a particular time scale and the Palm Centre was very helpful in bumping my order to the earliest possible dispatch. The plant (a juvenile) arrived the next day and was well-packaged and healthy, and slightly taller than specified. Happy to recommend the Palm Centre.

Rev Derek Hollis

Bigger than expetced which was nice, wrapped well, no issues here, and far cheaper than a garden centre. Would use again

Aaron Whiffin