Cordyline petiolaris is a palm-like, narrow upright understory rainforest plant that grows to 5 m. although in this beach side location it will generally be much smaller. The leaves are 85 cm long by 15 cm wide, and small white to lilac flowers appear in winter to spring, followed by attractive red berry clusters in summer. It can be multi-trunked.
This is a hardy plant, easy to grow provided it has shade and moist soil. Use it to create an understory layer in your garden, mass plant it for a tropical look in a shady area, or pot it up for indoors. The seeds germinate readily and you can also take stem cuttings from established plants.
It is one of two cordylines native to this area.
This article is part of our Gardening with natives series.