Thursday, October 25, 2012

Red-fruited Palm-lily

Cordyline rubra
It's flowering time for our little native palm-lilies.

 They are ideal plants for a shady garden, because they will flower in situations where light levels are low.
At no more than 2m high,  these plants are ideal for modern suburban gardens or courtyards. They are effective against a light-coloured wall, where their sculptural lines go well with modern architecture.(This photo was taken at the new Maroochy Botanic Gardens last month.)

They are also good tub plants, and grow well indoors.

Originating in our local rainforest understorey, they are perfect for growing under trees, where their foliage adds to the cool green effect. Subtle highlights are provided by the generous panicles of lavender flowers in spring,  and splashes of brilliant red long-lasting berries in summer.

These frost tender plants grow well in Toowoomba gardens, on red soil.  Like most of the plants of our local rainforests, they are "waterwise" plants, surviving our toughest droughts once established, provided they are situated in full or part shade. 
They will tolerate fairly sunny conditions, if given supplementary watering in dry times.

Another local palm lily is the larger Cordyline petiolaris. For more about it, see articles July 2009, and Nov 2009 (Ravensbourne).

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