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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cordyline australis - Green Dracena

The Cabbage tree is a slow growing evergreen tree with sword shaped leaves and a swollen water retaining stem. Often branched low or not. Can reach 20 or more feet tall. Tropical looking tree. Now comes in lots of colors, a purple one is pretty common, but there are lots of tri-colored ones as well. Looks like a Yucca.

This one is single-stemmed and showing the swollen base.

Leaves are sword shaped, lanceolate, 18 - 36" long and about 1 - 2" wide. Sharply pointed, entire margins, slightly curled inward (concave shaped or boat like). 

Small white flowers in large panicles (2-3' long) in mid to late summer. Panicles may be upright or slightly pendulous.

Fruit is a small berry. These are dried up.

Stems are thick, succulent like, with leaf scars.

Trunk often with a wide base near the ground. Bark on older trees is gray brown and slightly checked.

Misidentification: Looks like a Yucca, such as Yucca aloifolia, the Spanish Bayonet, but the flowers are totally different as are the leaves, which are much wider and more distinctly boat shaped.

Location: Common,
Sunshine Villa on either Front St or 3rd. in the parking lot to the left of the facility more on 3rd.

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