(Also known as the cabbage tree) Family: Asparagaceae
Species: Cordyline australis
Native to: New Zealand
Grows up to: 20m
Lives up to: 500 years
Description: This is a palm-like evergreen, though not actually a palm. It has dense bunches of spear-like leaves that reach up to a metre in length. In summer it has lots of small white flowers that appear on long spikes. The bark of the Cabbage-Palm is corky and spongy to the touch. It is often planted in British coastal resorts to create the illusion of a sub-tropical landscape.
Fact: The Maori people of New Zealand have a rich knowledge of the Cabbage Palm. They have used it for centuries for everything from food and medicine, to using its fibres for weaving. Once weaved, these fibres could create all sorts of products, such as: ropes for anchors, baskets, fishing lines, and leggings. The legacy of its use has led it to being one of New Zealand's most cultivated trees.