Monday, May 18, 2009

Plant profile: Cordyline

Cordyline australis
Cordyline is a genus of about 15 species of plants related to asparagus. Not cabbages, not palms, and not yuccas - despite looking a lot like some of them, and having a misleading common name (Cabbage Palm)!

Latin name: Cordyline spp. ("KOR-dill-ine")
Common name: Cordyline, Cabbage Palm, Cabbage Tree
Originally from: Western Pacific Ocean region, from New Zealand, eastern Australia, southeastern Asia, Polynesia and Hawaii.
Blooms: Weird twigs full of little white flowers show up on mature plants.
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Water: Some of them like the occasional sip in hot weather. Others need a lot of moisture, but we don't have any of those species.
Where to find in P. Garden: One in every bed - see below.

Clockwise from top left:
C. australis, "Red Sensation,"
"Torbay Dazzler"
As mentioned above there was a Cordyline australis in the garden when we got there which must be 10 years old (top right.) We removed some tips from it to propagate, but they proved unwilling - not as easy as yuccas, it seems!

Aside from that one, we have several of the various color forms available in the garden. Two Cordyline australis "Red Sensation" which are burgundy-colored live left bed - one in the middle, the other by the arch.

"Electric Pink" with
"Sundance" in the background
We also have a C. australis "Red Sensation" (might be "Red Star" actually...) and a C. australis "Torbay Dazzler" in the middle back bed, and a C. australis x banksii "Electric Pink," a C. australis "Sundance" and a C. australis "Kiwi Dazzler" in the middle front bed.

In the brights bed we have "Red Sensation," "Torbay Dazzler, ""Coral" and "Sundance" in a group, and lastly we have a "Torbay Dazzler" by the steps.

UPDATE: we lost the "Electric Pink" "Kiwi Dazzler" and "Sundance" in the middle front bed, sadly, due to the drought, and the plain green C. Australis in the middle back bed too. But we got a few others to replace them in the brights bed.

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