Cordyline R.Br.

Cabbage Trees

Greek kordyle – a club; referring to the thick stem-like roots of some species.

Perennial evergreen woody clump-forming, branching shrubs or trees with thick roots. Leaves carried along stems, alternate, linear to stalked and ovate, sheathing. Flowers radially symmetrical, short stalked, individual flower stalks articulated. Inflorescence a terminal many-flowered panicle. Tepals 3+3, 1-nerved, fused or free, not twisting spirally when withered. Stamens 6, attached to tepal bases; anthers dehiscing along the side.ovary superior, ovoid; ovules 2 to numerous. Fruit a berry. Seeds rounded, black.

Grown for the spiky architectural foliage.

About 20 species mostly endemic to Australia and New Zealand, extending to SE Asia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, the Mascarenes and S America.

Woody shrub or tree habit with linear or stalked leaves; panicles of flowers with basally fused tepals; berries and black seeds.

Heenan (1991), Simpson (2000).

Source: Conran, J. (2005). Laxmanniaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Asparagaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Cordyline fruticosa (L.) A.Chev.
species         Cordyline stricta (Sims) Endl.