Cordyline australis

Cordyline australis by Tony Foster
Photo by Tony Foster

Synonyms: Cordyline australis (G. Forst.) Endl.; Cordyline australis Endl.; Dracaena australis

Common names: New Zealand cabbage tree; cabbage tree; Ti Kouka; giant dracaena [dracena]; dracaena palm

Cordyline australis (New Zealand cabbage tree) is a small tree-like plant (family Liliaceae) whose known distribution in California is limited to two infestations in coniferous forests of Salt Point State Park in Sonoma County and Redwood National Park in Humboldt County. New Zealand cabbage tree grows in moist, cool climates in the forest understory. It was originally brought to California for use as a landscape ornamental, but is has escaped to invade both disturbed areas and undisturbed wildlands. The tree’s seeds are contained in blue or bluish-white berries that are distributed by birds. The two known infestations are spreading, but the species does not appear to be aggressively invasive.

Rating: Limited

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

    Other Resources

    • USDA PLANTS database -
      Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
    • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
    • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
    • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.

    Symposium Presentations

    • None for this species.

    Cal-IPC News Articles

    • Harris, G. (1998). Invasive New Zealand weeds: Our native plant invaders. CalEPPC News. 6: 8-9.