Cordyline rubra

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Cordyline rubra
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Lomandroideae
Genus: Cordyline
C. rubra
Binomial name
Cordyline rubra

Cordyline rubra, known as the palm lily, is an evergreen Australian plant. Growing as a shrub to around 4 metres (13 ft) tall, it is found in warm rainforest and moist eucalyptus forest.[1] The range of natural distribution is from Lismore to near Bundaberg, Queensland.

It was first described by the German botanists Christoph Friedrich Otto and Albert Gottfried Dietrich in 1848.[2] The Latin species name rubra means "red".[3]

Cordyline rubra is mainly identified by the leaf stems, which grow from 5 to 20 cm (2–8 in) long. They are flat or somewhat concave in shape. The leaves 15 to 50 cm (6–20 in) long, and 3 to 5.5 cm (1.4–2.2 in) wide,[4] narrow elliptic in shape. Flowering occurs from summer, being lilac in colour.[5] The fruit is a bright red berry, 10 mm (0.4 in) in diameter. It grows on panicles 10 to 40 cm (4–16 in) long.[3]

This species propagates easily from seeds or stem cuttings. Cordyline rubra is not as widely seen in cultivation as C. australis, however it is also well suited to gardens with moist soils in semi shade. It is a resilient plant and can tolerate neglect. Also suited as an indoor pot plant.[6] Occasionally it hybridizes with Cordyline petiolaris in the wild.


  1. ^ "Cordyline rubra". Australian Plants Online. Archived from the original on 2010-12-05. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
  2. ^ "Cordyline rubra Otto & A.Dietr". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
  3. ^ a b Elliot RW, Jones DL, Blake T (1984). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation:Volume 3 - Ce-Er. Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. p. 88. ISBN 0-85091-167-2.
  4. ^ "Cordyline rubra". PlantNET – NSW Flora Online. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
  5. ^ Cundall. P., (2008) Native Plants:The definitive guide to Australian plants, Global Book Publishing Lane Cove, N.S.W, p. 127, ISBN 978-1-74048-027-7
  6. ^ "Cordyline rubra". Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network. Archived from the original on 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2010-06-27.