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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Cordyline

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales > Family: Asparagaceae

About 15 species, native to the western Pacific region, including New Zealand, eastern Australia, southeastern Asia, Polynesia and Hawaii. Four species are cultivated in southern Africa. They bear some resemblance to species of Dracaena. Previously placed in the Agavaceae and then the Laxmanniaceae.

Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Cordyline australis (New Zealand cabbage tree)

Native to New Zealand. The term 'cabbage tree' can be confusing in southern Africa because species of Cussonia are referred to by this name. See Wikipedia for more information on C. australis.


Cordyline fruticosa (Cabbage palm, Good luck plant, Palm lily)

Native to eastern Asia and eastern Australia. See Wikipedia.


Cordyline indivisa (New Zealand mountain cabbage tree)

Native to New Zealand. See Wikipedia.


Cordyline stricta (Narrow-leaved palm lily)

Native to eastern Australia. See Wikipedia.




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.