13 Feb

Cussonia – The Cabbage Tree of Africa

Cussonia is a genus of ornamental trees from South Africa and Madagascar. These drought tolerant trees make excellent accent plants with a crown of lovely green foliage. Most species of Cussonia grow as solitary trees forming a slender and twisted trunks crowned by long and glossy leaves. This unique growing habit gives these trees the name of ‘Cabbage Tree’.

Cussonia, The Cabbage Tree

Cussonia, The Cabbage Tree, Image by Louisa Billeter

Most species of Cussonia grow quickly and last long. Average height of Cabbage Tree can be 8 to 12 meters. Leaves are evergreen and are used as fodder. Small, stalked flowers appear in Spring or early Summer followed by fleshy fruits. Nectar produced by Cussonia trees attracts bees, wasps, birds and other pollinating insects.

Cabbage Tree is grows easily from seeds and does not require much care. Most species resist drought and prefer a sunny spot to grow. Protect them from frost and grow in a well-drained and slightly rich soil.

Popular species include:

Cussonia Spicata – Fast growing, evergreen tree that grows up to 10 meters and produces greenish flowers in summer.

Cussonia Paniculata – Grows as a tall (up to 6 meters), slender and twisting tree. Leaves are long and waxy. Small green or crème flowers appear in dense spikes.

01 Jun

Foliage Plant for Landscapes and Indoor Gardens: Cordyline

Cordyline is a genus of more than one dozen species of colorful foliage plants. Widely grown for their ornamental foliage and colors, Cordyline are hardy plants – suitable for both indoor and outdoor gardens. They add striking colors in landscapes and produce greenish-white or yellow-green flowers. In cold climates, they can be grown indoors as patio plants.

Cordyline Australis, Cabbage Tree

Cordyline Australis (Cabbage Tree) Image © Magnus Manske

How to Grow Cordyline

Cordyline are hardy plants and grow under direct or partial sunlight. Most species love rich and well-drained soil with moderate watering. Plants can be propagated from cuttings. Protect your Cordyline plants from frost.

Popular Varieties of Cordyline

Cordyline Australis: Commonly known as Cabbage Tree, Palm Lily or Grass Palm, Cordyline Australis is usually grown as outdoor tree that grows as tall as 30 meters. It is equally suitable as container plant. The plant bears white fragrant flowers that usually appear in summer. Cordyline Australis is also grown for its medicinal benefits and commercial use of its fiber.

Cordyline Terminalis: This species grows as foliage shrub up to 3 meters. Leaves are showy and tend to produce variegation. Other names of Cordyline Terminalis are Ti Tree and Good Luck Plant.