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Cordyline australis (Manx Palm)

 

(New Zealand Cabbage Tree)
An ideal specimen plant for a sunny, protected border or patio, this plant is a conspicuous feature of many gardens throughout south-west England. A small tree, usually forming a single trunk and bearing several stout, ascending branches. Each branch is crowned by a large, dense mass of long, sword-like leaves. Small, creamy-white and fragrant flowers are produced in large, terminal panicles in early summer. Leaves grow 30 - 90cm (1 - 3ft) long. Native to New Zealand. Known to them as Ti kouka, the trees were prized by the Maori as navigational markers as well as their use for fishing as the fibre was strong. The new shoots of the tree were an important source of protein for them and eaten as a vegetable. In addition the Maori made use of its medicinal properties - healing sores and cuts and as a cure for dysentery and stomach pains.

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