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Cordyline terminalis dsc03651.jpg
Cordyline fruticosa
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Lomandroideae
Genus: Cordyline
Comm. ex R.Br.[1]

See text


Charlwoodia Sweet
Cohnia Kunth
Taetsia Medik.[1]

Cordyline is a genus of about 15 species of woody monocotyledonous flowering plants in family Asparagaceae, subfamily Lomandroideae. The subfamily has previously been treated as a separate family Laxmanniaceae,[2] or Lomandraceae. Other authors have placed the genus in the Agavaceae (now Agavoideae). Cordyline is native to the western Pacific Ocean region, from New Zealand, eastern Australia, southeastern Asia, Polynesia and Hawaii, with one species found in western South America.

The name Cordyline comes from the Greek word kordyle, meaning "club," a reference to the enlarged underground stems or rhizomes.[3]


As of March 2015, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families accepts 24 species:[4]

Formerly placed here[edit]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Members of the group are often grown as ornamental plants. Many species have been used as a foodstuff and medicine, for additional details on these and other uses see C. australis. The rhizome was roasted in an hāngi (earth oven) by Māori to extract sugar.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Genus: Cordyline Comm. ex R. Br.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  2. ^ Chase, M.W.; Reveal, J.L. & Fay, M.F. (2009), "A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 132–136, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00999.x 
  3. ^ Bok-mun Ho (2006). "Cordyline obtecta". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  4. ^ "Search for Cordyline". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  5. ^ "GRIN Species Records of Cordyline". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  6. ^ Morton, Elsie K. (1964). Crusoes of Sunday Island. Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed. p. 53.