These photographs show an amazing tropical tree that mysteriously appeared in our garden about 10 years ago. It grew from a tiny shoot and became larger and larger until it is now over eight foot tall.

 Our next door neighbour has an older, even larger version of the same tree and we can only draw the conclusion our tree is an offspring of that splendid specimen. We think somehow a seed, perhaps delivered from a passing bird or insect was transported to our garden and took root.

 This year is special though as it has burst out with a huge white branch of small white flowers. Google lens identified it as a Cordyline australis, or a New Zealand plant.

‘Cordyline australis, commonly known as the cabbage tree or cabbage-palm, is a widely branched monocot tree endemic to New Zealand. It grows up to 20 metres tall with a stout trunk and sword-like leaves, which are clustered at the tips of the branches and can be up to 1 metre long. (Wikipedia)’

   I came up with the following information from the internet. Some comprehensive facts on the edible parts of the tree and how the Cabbage tree got its European name and the many interesting uses discovered by the native Maori people.

 The huge flowers are too high on the tree for us to experience the reputed fragrance. There are many bees and insects visiting this unusual tree so there should be some interesting flavoured honey in a hive somewhere nearby.

Written by John Yeo © All rights reserved