Cordyline stricta (Slender Palm Lily)
Species: C. stricta
Binomial name: Cordyline stricta
Synonyms: Dracaena stricta, Charlwoodia stricta, Sweet Terminalis stricta.
Common names: Slender Palm Lily, Narrow-leaved Palm Lily.
Cordyline stricta is an evergreen Australian plant which grows to 5 metres tall. Its native range forms a band from the southern border of Queensland to the Sydney region, but it has become naturalised in Victoria and possibly South Australia. It grows in rainforests and wet sclerophyll (a type of vegetation that has hard leaves and short internodes) forests with dark moist gullies being the preferred its habitat.
Cordyline stricta has narrow, strappy leaves 30-50cm long and 1-2.5cm wide, which tend to be crowded near the top of the stem and leaving scars. There is no distinction between a leaf blade and petiole. When grown in the garden it can reach about 5m high, with highly branched stems that can sprawl or arch. It remains around 2-3m tall when grown in pots, and has a sparser, more compact growth habit.
C. stricta usually flowers in summer, though it can reportedly flower earlier in the year. It produces 8-10mm mauve flowers on panicles 20-40 cm long. The flowers are followed by 10-15mm black berries. It is the only Australian species of Cordyline to have black berries.
Photographed at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth