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Cordyline australis 'Purple Tower' (Giant dracaena, New Zealand cabbage palm)

Cordyline australis 'Purple Tower' Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

(Based on 1 user review)

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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Cordyline australis 'Purple Tower' kor-dih-LYE-nee oss-TRAL-iss Common Name: Giant dracaena, New Zealand cabbage palm Synonyms: Dracaena australis Genus: Cordyline
'Purple Tower' is a cultivar of the New Zealand native cabbage tree, frequently grown in greenhouses, as houseplants, or as large accent plants outdoors. It is hardy to Zone 10. The narrow, plum-purple leaves reach 3 feet long. The fragrant white flowers are small, but they are borne in large panicles in spring and early summer on mature plants. Plants grown in containers only rarely flower, however. Young plants are often sold as houseplants. Mature specimens have thick trunks with foliage at the top, resembling a palm tree. They are striking container specimens and can be plugged into a summer border. The species has naturalized in portions of California and the southern U.S.
Noteworthy characteristics: Long, narrow foliage in an unusual purple color. Great accent plant.
Care: Needs well-drained, fertile soil in full sun or partial shade. If grown indoors, provide bright filtered or indirect light and moderate water during the growing season.
Propagation: Sow seed at 61°F in spring. Remove well-rooted suckers in spring.
Problems: Scale insects, spider mites, and mealybugs are common, while bacterial and fungal spots, bacterial soft rot, and root rot can occur.
Height 15 ft. to 30 ft.
Spread 6 ft. to 10 ft.
Growth Habit Clumps
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Moderate
Characteristics Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage; Showy Fruit
Bloom Time Summer
Foliage Color Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Flower Color White Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Indoor Plant, Specimen Plant/ Focal Point
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest
Type Trees

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