T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Cordyline banksii (Forest Cabbage Tree)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Laxmanniaceae
Genus: Cordyline
Species: C. banksii
Binomial name: Cordyline banksii
Common names: Forest Cabbage Tree, Ti Ngahere

Cordyline banksii is a monocot tree endemic to New Zealand. The species name banksii refers to the 18th-century botanist Joseph Banks. It is a sparingly branched cabbage tree can grow to 4 m tall.
It is seldom found in open ground and is often in scrub or deeper forest. Cordyline banksii tolerates a wide variety of habitats. It is common in coastal, lowland, and lower montane forests in the North Island, widespread in the northern half of the South Island and Westland as far south as Haast. 
The leaves are lanceolate (somewhat paddle-shaped), up to 2 metres long and from 40 to 80 mm wide. The leaves are broad in the mid portion and droop from there. A prominent flat midrib runs the whole length of the leaf. The fruiting panicle is up to 2 metres in length. 
The flowers are white and pleasantly perfumed. The globe-shaped fruit is up to 5 mm in diameter, and are white, bluish-white, or blue. 
When young it looks like a flax with its long drooping leaves, but after a few years it will grow a single trunk and adopt the cabbage tree form.

A young plant on the Te Henui Walkway near Adams Point.\

Photographed at Te Kainga Marire Gardens, New Plymouth

Flowering December, West Coast South Island

A slender trunked Cordyline banksii photographed roadside Burgess Park, New Plymouth.

A young tree looks like a flax. A prominent flat midrib runs the whole length of the leaf

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/