Cordylines are natures splash of colour. Offering the perfect alternative if you don’t particularly like flowering shrubs but want colour in your garden design. This species are commonly used in Tropical and Balinese Landscape Designs, seeing mass planting of the same variety provide architectural appeal.

The two most common groups used in Australia are Cordyline fruticosa and Cordyline australis each bringing unique features through leaf variation.

Fruticosa are a Tropical – Subtropical plant thriving in the warmer climates and are commonly kept indoors in the cooler climate areas to protect them from frost. Their lush, glossy leaves indicate they like lots of water and prefer dappled sunlight. In the summer they produce small, fragrant flowers that colour white to purple, which need pruning once they die off to keep the plant rejuvenating. To tell this species apart from the others, they have long, wide leaves with vibrant colours such as yellow, red, orange and pink. These Cordylines are great for difficult areas as they tolerate lots of shade throughout the day and still bring lots of colour to the garden bed area.

Some of the more wildly used Cordyline fruticosas are Rubra, Purple Prince and Pink Diamond.

Cordyline fruticose - Rubra

Cordyline fruticosa – Rubra


Cordyline fruticose - Peko

Cordyline fruticosa – Purple Prince


Cordyline fruticose - Pink Diamond

Cordyline fruticosa – Pink Diamond


Cordyline australis can grow as a small tree but are more commonly seen in pots growing to around 1-2 m. To identify these types of Cordyline, they have long, slim leaves coloured deep or subtle green, bronze or purple. These hardy plants are drought tolerant and can handle full sun as an indication of their matte leaves. In the summer they produce fragrant, small, white flowers that need pruning after flowering to keep the plant looking its best.

Some of the more widely used Cordyline australis are Charlie Boy, Peko and Red Sensation.

Cordyline australis - Charlie Boy

Cordyline australis – Charlie Boy


Cordyline australis - Peko

Cordyline australis – Peko


Cordyline australis - Red Sensation

Cordyline australis – Red Sensation