The latest picture from my New Zealand connection is this lovely tree. It has a smooth and supple trunk topped with a spiky pop of leaves. If I am correct, it’s Cordyline australis, or the cabbage tree, native to New Zealand. How cool to see a monocot plant in a tree form. Most of the monocot plants around here are the diminutive grasses, with leaf veins parallel (as opposed to dicotyledons with reticulated leaf veins). We sell cordylines at the nursery, but usually for a summer tropical look (most don’t last through our winters). If they did last, they could grow into an amazing tree like this one. The Cabbage tree is a familiar part of the New Zealand landscape and can grow up to 60 feet tall. I’m trying to use my imagination, but I just don’t see a cabbage in this tree, do you?
My brother is a really good photographer. I love this picture he took in New Zealand! It’s one of those photos that draws you in. Grassy field and blue, blue sky. Very simple, yet so engaging. I long to walk on that smooth green grass. No, not walk…run really, really fast. I want to fly over the hill and see what’s on the other side (after I stop at the tree for a quick ID). The two girls in purple hats. One is just returning from adventure, one waits. They are separate, yet together. The line between earth and sky creates such a definite boundary. We see that rarely where I live…too many trees! I believe he told me that the movie The Hobbit was being filmed in this area. The second photograph below is a shrubby plant, yellow flowers against another bright blue New Zealand sky. I’m still working on the identity of the plant, can anyone beat me to it?