Native plant both sturdy and adaptable


Last updated 08:30 06/02/2014
Southland Times photo
Even in extreme wind, the native cabbage plant will not bend.
Southland Times photo
Even in extreme wind, the native cabbage plant will not bend.

Relevant offers

In the South

Michael Laws is in: Losing Otago Regional Council candidate 'gutted' to be denied vote recount Brianna's got that winning feeling Rural GP reflects on training reality check in Christchurch earthquake Central Otago landowners at a crossroads over water use Losing Otago Regional Council candidate to seek recount Central Otago mayor sticks with status quo for deputy ORC candidates on tenterhooks waiting for special votes count Mayor says goodbye to 27 years with the Central Otago District Council Cromwell Museum selling off artefacts Central Otago electors encouraged to get votes in before close-off

Early settlers in New Zealand used the young fresh leaves of this native plant as a substitute for cabbage, hence the common name cabbage tree.

The cabbage tree is one of the most distinctive specimens in our landscape. It grows straight and tall and in extreme windy conditions does not bend over as do other trees. It's also very adaptable with regard to soil conditions. It can live in wet swampy habitats and is able to thrive in hot, dry sand hills.

Young cabbage trees grow up as a single trunk until the first flowering. Following this the cabbage tree often branches and several heads form.

Flowers develop on these heads and there is a common belief that a good flowering will be followed by a hot dry summer. Scientific observations however, demonstrate that this is not necessarily the case as a good flowering usually follows a hot dry summer and is not a reliable indication of the weather to come.

Most cabbage trees mature at about 7 to 10 metres but it's recorded that in the Golden Bay area there is a specimen that's approaching 20m and is at least 400 years old.

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times


Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content