The Cabbage palm......... Neither a palm nor a cabbage but a monocot tree endemic to New Zealand. It develops a stout trunk with long, red/purple/bronze, sword shaped leaves and more mature plants produce large panicles of small, fragrant cream flowers that almost look like an exploding firework. Until flowering the trunk usually grows relatively upright but then branches from the main part of the trunk near the point that the flowering stem appeared creating a multi headed plant.
Compared to the true palms Cordyline are much more wind tolerant even tolerating coastal planting. Despite their resistance to salty air and windy positions Cordylines planted in such spots always look untidy and tatty. Plants grown in sheltered areas look so much better with thicker, greener, bushier, healthier heads of foliage. Plants grown in the ground also do much better. Plants in pots, unless the pot is very oversized and very well irrigated through dry spells with regular feeding, also tend to not perform well. They will often develop yellow leaves due to a form of rust. The best way to cure this is to remove the infected leaves and plant in the ground.
They are also a lot faster growing than true palms reaching their eventual height of around 8 metres in around 10 to 20 years. Plant in full sun to part shade and for best results grow in a moist but well drained soil. Reliably hardy in Uk zone 9 gardens easily tolerating temperature down to -6c without damage. Below -6c leaf damage does occur but recovery is usually quick in the following spring. Prolonged low temperatures around -10c or below will usually kill it.
Sent in a 14cm pot. May be cut back for shipping
Additional photos By Jade - originally posted to Flickr as Cabbage Tree, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9997043, By Salomé - originally posted to Flickr as Cordyline australis (III), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9990573
By Salomé - originally posted to Flickr as Cordyline australis (III), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9990573, By Andree Stephan - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4058746.