Here’s an extract from the website Trees
“Maori Name: Ti Kouka
Common name: Cabbage Tree
Botanical name: Cordyline australis
What does it look like?
The young cabbage tree has a single, grey coloured trunk and later adds more trunks and branches with leaves clustered in bunches at the tips. Growing up to 12 - 20 metres, the long narrow leaves may be up to a metre long and the trunk up to 1.5 metres in diameter. The bark is thick and tough, like cork and the tree has a strong tap-root. In November to January hundreds of strongly scented white flowers form in clusters, attracting bees. The flowers form bluish-white berries which birds like to eat.
Where does it grow?
Cabbage trees are common throughout farmland, open places, wetlands and scrubland of the North and South Islands, but are rare on Stewart Island. They are found up to 800 metres above sea level in anything from wet swampy ground to dry windy hill slopes. Frost tender when young, they prefer full sunlight, so they are common on farms. This species is not found in forest.”
The cabbage tree’s foliage creates a nice contrast to other trees and its presence really stands out against other native species. This one is surrounded by totara trees, with have a dense coverage of very small, sharp tipped leaves and, to the right of the cabbage tree, manuka, which has similar foliage to the totara.
This is one of several photos I took of cabbage trees while driving the tractor home from making silage late last year. I’ve chosen three that I liked best for posting. This is the first and was taken the same day I took the nikau palm photos I posted previously. Alterations to this pic were limited to a slight increase in saturation to accentuate the colours.
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Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2006-05-14 7:28
I like this image also. The group of trees looks very nice surrounded by other plants. Nice colours.
Janice (4403) 2006-05-15 7:25
Hi Tony, These cabbage trees grow well up your way. I like to see them growing here in among other native trees. This one stands out well, and the colours and details all look great. Well done,
bazal (7900) 2006-06-22 13:30
I like this other shot dealing with these very special 'cabbage trees'. Your note is, as always, very informative.
Thanks for sharing.