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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Root - baked[1][2][3][4]. It can also be brewed into an intoxicating drink[5].

Pith of the trunk - dried and steamed until soft[3]. Sweet and starchy, it is used to make porridge or a sweet drink[3]. The root and stems are rich in fructose, the yields compare favourably with sugar beet (Beta vulgaris altissima)[2].

Edible shoots - a cabbage substitute[1][6][3]. The leaves are very fibrous even when young, we would not fancy eating them[K].

Leaves

Unknown part

Material uses

The leaves contain saponins, but not in commercial quantities[2]. The leaves contain a strong fibre, used for making paper, twine, cloth, baskets, thatching, rain capes etc[7][8][9][6][2]. The whole leaves would be used for some of these applications. When used for making paper, the leaves are harvested in summer, they are scraped to remove the outer skin and are then soaked in water for 24 hours prior to cooking[10].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Cordyline australis.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - pre-soak for about 10 minutes in warm water and sow in late winter to early spring in a warm greenhouse[11][12]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 25°c[12]. There is usually a good percentage germination[11]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts and give the plants some protection in their first winter outdoors[K].

Stem cuttings - cut off the main stem just below the head and then saw off 5cm thick blocks of stem and place them 3cm deep in pure peat in a heated frame. Keep them moist until they are rooting well, then pot them up into individual pots. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts.

Suckers. These are best removed in early spring and planted out in situ. Protect the division from wind and cold weather and do not allow the soil to become dry until the plant is established. Divisions can also be potted up and grown on until established, planting them out in the summer.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Cordyline australis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a good sandy loam rich in humus[7]. Succeeds in full sun or light shade[13]. A very wind hardy plant, tolerating maritime exposure[14][15].

A very ornamental plant[7], it is not very cold-hardy, tolerating short-lived lows down to about -10°c[16]. It only succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of Britain[7][17][18]. It grows very well in Cornwall where it often self-sows[7][17][18]. A form with purplish leaves is hardier than the type and succeeds outdoors in Gloucestershire[17]. The flowers have a delicious sweet scent that pervades the air to a considerable distance[19].

Mice often kill young plants by eating out the pith of the stem[17].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cordyline australis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Cordyline australis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Cordyline australis
Genus
Cordyline
Family
Agavaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
8
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
15 x 5 meters
Fertility
?
Pollinators
?
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type











References

  1. ? 1.01.11.2 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.5 Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C. Economic Native Plants of New Zealand. Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-558229-2 (1991-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.4 Crowe. A. Native Edible Plants of New Zealand. Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-508302 (1990-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Laing. and Blackwell. Plants of New Zealand. Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd (1907-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.5 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking. Liliaceae Press (1988-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
  13. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  14. ? Arnold-Forster. Shrubs for the Milder Counties. ()
  15. ? Taylor. J. The Milder Garden. Dent (1990-00-00)
  16. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2 Pan Books, London. ISBN 0-330-37376-5 (1998-00-00)
  17. ? 17.017.117.217.317.4 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  18. ? 18.018.1 Thurston. Trees and Shrubs in Cornwall. ()
  19. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  20. ? Allan. H. H. Flora of New Zealand. Government Printer, Wellington. (1961-00-00)
  21. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)