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Edible uses


Root - baked[1].

Pith of the trunk - dried and steamed until soft[1]. Sweet and starchy, it is used to make porridge or a sweet drink[1]. The root and stems are rich in fructose, the yields compare favourably with Sugar Beet (Beta vulgaris altissima)[2]. Edible shoots - a cabbage substitute[3][4][1]. The leaves are very fibrous even when young, we would not fancy eating them[K].

Edible fruit[5][3][6]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter[7].



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[8][9][10][4][2]. The whole leaves would be used for some of these applications. This species makes very strong rain capes[2]. The midrib of the leaves provides a fine red-coloured strip for plaiting. It makes a very strong rope, lasting longer in water than Phormium tenax[2].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Cordyline indivisa.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


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 indivisa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a good sandy loam rich in humus[8][13]. Succeeds in full sun or light shade[14]. Likes a rich soil[13]. Plants grow well in coastal areas[15].

Plants are not very hardy in Britain, they tolerate temperatures down to about -3°c[15] though one report says that they can survive occasional lows down to about -10°c[13]. They succeed outdoors in the milder areas of Britain[13]. This species is more tender than C. australis[16][17]. A very ornamental plant[8], it should be planted in its permanent position as soon as possible after the first winter[13].

Mice often kill young plants by eating out the pith of the stem[13].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cordyline indivisa. 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 indivisa.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Cordyline indivisa
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
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.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
8 x 2 meters
Flower Colour
Flower Type


  1. ? Crowe. A. Native Edible Plants of New Zealand. Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-508302 (1990-00-00)
  2. ? 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. ? Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  4. ? Laing. and Blackwell. Plants of New Zealand. Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd (1907-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  7. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  8. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  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. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  14. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.1 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2 Pan Books, London. ISBN 0-330-37376-5 (1998-00-00)
  16. ? Arnold-Forster. Shrubs for the Milder Counties. ()
  17. ? Thurston. Trees and Shrubs in Cornwall. ()
  18. ? Allan. H. H. Flora of New Zealand. Government Printer, Wellington. (1961-00-00)