New Zealand Cabbage Tree

Cabbage Tree

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?

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