Monday, March 10, 2008

So what is a Cabbage Tree?

OK so you're probably wondering, if you're not from NZ, just what is a Cabbage Tree?

There is a lot I could write here but here's a brief explanation for starters.

The name Cabbage Tree is the common name for Cordyline australis. Cordyline is from the Latin word "Kordyle" which means club because of the shape of the root. Australis means "Southern". The Maori name is Ti kouka (Maori are the indigenous people of NZ).

It looks a bit like a yucca or a palm but is actually a huge lilly growing up to 20m tall!It prefers a wet area although cabbage trees grow in all areas of New Zealand.

The Cabbage Tree has clusters of white flowers in early spring which are sweetly perfumed.

The Maori highly revered the cabbage tree for it's versatility, and used the leaves for weaving baskets, footwear, thatches, bird snares and eat the young shoots - according to the European settlers, these were supposed to have tasted a bit like cabbage, hence the name "Cabbage Tree".

Also a medicinal tea could be brewed from the leaves.

We love Cabbage Trees and have planted lots of these on our farm.

This is what they look like when in flower (spring time).

No comments: