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Cordyline australis is a perennial plant with long, sword shaped leaves on a stout, grey trunk. It produces large panicles of flowers in spring and summer, which are sweetly perfumed. The flower spike can be up to a metre long. A landscaping favourite, as it is easy care and tolerant of neglect.
Cordylines are happy to grow underneath trees, as well as in full sun. Wet feet can cause root rot and fungal diseases, but cordylines are generally easy to grow. As they grow taller, the lower leaves can die off and become untidy, so these should be removed. They withstand dry conditions, though their growth will slow. Cordylines are frost and salt tolerant. They grow well in a wide range of soil types.
Cordylines were used by the Maori people for food, they would roast the rhizome. The leaves produce a tough fibre for ropes, mats and baskets.
Flower colour: white, cream
Flowering season: spring summer
The flowers are sweetly scented
Maximum height: 20 metres
Minimum height: 5 metres
Maximum width: 5 metres
Minimum width: not specified
This plant will tolerate full or partial sunlight.
Medium frost tolerance.
Plant is salt tolerant.
This plant species will grow in the following climates: cool, temperate, subtropical, tropical.
Loam: dry, moist, well-drained.
Clay: dry, moist, well-drained.
Sand: dry, moist, well-drained.
Soil pH: 5.5-7.5
Root rot in very wet soil
Planting season: Any.
Types of fertiliser: not specified.