Cordyline australis – Cabbage Palm Tree

Cordyline australis – Cabbage Palm Tree

Are you looking for specimen trees in Sussex? Arundel Arboretum has an excellent selection of specimen trees in stock now.

One specimen tree that is worthy of consideration is Cordyline australis.  It is also known as the Cabbage Palm or Torbay Palm and originates from New Zealand.  Whilst it is classified as a palm, it actually isn’t at all!

Cordyline australis is one of the easiest exotic plants to grow.  They are evergreen and usually tall and have a single trunk, but branching can occur after it has flowered to create a multi-stem plant.  Generally, Cordylines are trouble-free, but they can occasionally rot out at the base of their stems if they are overwatered or if they are planted in an area that remains too wet.

Cordyline australis has long, sword-shaped olive-green leaves.  Large panicles of small cream flowers appear in the summer and they are beautifully fragrant.  Small, spherical berries follow in the autumn.

These trees are very easy to grow and can grow in full sun or partial shade.  They are a good choice if you are close to the sea, as they can withstand the salt and windy conditions.  This is evident with the Cordylines planted along Worthing seafront.  They are also drought resistant, and will thrive in well-drained soil.  They do not like being waterlogged!

Cordyline australis is a fantastic architectural plant and will provide an instant impact to your garden.  They are also ideal to grow in pots.  Pots have a tendency to dry out very quickly, so Cordylines are a good choice, but as with all plants whether in the ground or in pots, maintenance is key, and if left for long periods will suffer.

As Cordylines grow, their lower leaves will start to droop down.  These will eventually turn yellow and then brown.  At this stage, they can either be left on the plant or cut off to create a longer, clearer trunk with the leaves at the top.

They have an eventual height of between 4-8m and a spread of 2.5-4m after 20-50 years depending upon their ground conditions.

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