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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Asparagaceae
Subfamilia: Lomandroideae
Genus: Cordyline
Species: C. angustissima – C. australis – C. banksii – C. cannifolia – C. casanovae – C. congesta – C. forbesii – C. fruticosa – C. indivisa – C. lateralis – C. ledermannii – C. manners-suttoniae – C. mauritiana – C. minutiflora – C. murchisoniae – C. neocaledonica – C. obtecta – C. petiolaris – C. pumilio – C. racemosa – C. rubra – C. schlechteri – C. sellowiana – C. stricta

Nothospecies: C. x gibbingsiae – C. x matthewsii

Cordyline Comm. ex R.Br., Prodr.: 280. (1810), nom. cons. not Adanson (1763)

Type species: Cordyline cannifolia R.Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl.: 280 (1810)


Terminalis Rumph. ex Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 716 (1891), nom. illeg.
Taetsia Medik., Theodora: 82. 1786.
Carlwoodia Sweet, Fl. Australas.: t. 18. 1827.
Charlwoodia Sweet, Fl. Australas.: t. 18. 1827.
Euphyleia Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4: 16. 1838.
Calodracon Planch., Fl. Serres Jard. Paris 6: 132. 1850.
Cohnia Kunth, Enum. Pl. 5: 35. 1850.
Dracaenopsis Planch., Fl. Serres Jard. Eur. 6: 110. 1850.
Ezehlsia Lour. ex B.A.Gomes, Mem. Acad. Real Sci. Lisboa, 2 Cl. Sci. Moraes, n.s., 4(1): 29. 1868.


Cordyline Comm. ex Juss. Gen. Pl. 41. (1789) isonym
Cordyline Adans. Fam. Pl. 2: 54, 543. (1763) nom. rej. in favour of Sansevieria Thunb. (1794)


Commerson, P., (1810) Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae van-Diemen, 280. BHL
Govaerts, R. et al. 2015. Cordyline in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2015 Sept. 22. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2015. Cordyline. Published online. Accessed: Sept. 22 2015. 2015. Cordyline. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 22 Sept. 2015.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility. 2019. GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset. Taxon: Cordyline. .

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 and Polynesia, with one species found in southeastern 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]

Cordyline angustissima K.Schum. – New Guinea
Cordyline australis (G.Forst.) Endl. (Cabbage Tree) – New Zealand
Cordyline banksii Hook.f. (syn. C. diffusa Colenso.) – New Zealand
Cordyline cannifolia R.Br. – Australia: N.E. Northern Territory, N.E. Queensland
Cordyline casanovae Linden ex André – Vanuatu
Cordyline congesta (Sweet) Steud. (syn. C. dracaenoides Kunth) – Australia: S.E. Queensland to N.E. New South Wales
Cordyline diffusa Colenso. (syn. C. banksii Hook.f.) – New Zealand
Cordyline forbesii Rendle – Papua New Guinea
Cordyline fruticosa (L.) A.Chev. – Papuasia to W. Pacific
Cordyline indivisa (G.Forst.) Endl. (mountain cabbage tree) – New Zealand (syn. Cordyline hectori, Cordyline hookeri)
Cordyline lateralis Lauterb. – New Guinea
Cordyline ledermannii K.Krause – New Guinea
Cordyline manners-suttoniae F.Muell. – Australia: N.E. Queensland
Cordyline mauritiana (Lam.) J.F.Macbr. – Mascarenes
Cordyline minutiflora Ridl. – New Guinea
Cordyline murchisoniae F.Muell. (syn. C. haageana K.Koch) – Australia: E. Queensland
Cordyline neocaledonica (Baker) B.D.Jacks. – New Caledonia
Cordyline obtecta (Graham) Baker – Norfolk Island, N. New Zealand North Island
Cordyline petiolaris (Domin) Pedley – Australia: S.E. Queensland to N.E. New South Wales
Cordyline pumilio Hook.f. – New Zealand North Island
Cordyline racemosa Ridl. – New Guinea
Cordyline rubra Otto & A.Dietr. – Australia: S.E. Queensland to N.E. New South Wales
Cordyline schlechteri Lauterb. – New Guinea
Cordyline sellowiana Kunth – Bolivia to Brazil and N. Argentina
Cordyline stricta (Sims) Endl. – Australia: S.E. Queensland to N.E. New South Wales

Formerly placed here

Dracaena aletriformis (Haw.) Bos (as C. rumphii Hook.)
Dracaena elliptica Thunb. & Dalm. (as C. maculata (Roxb.) Planch. and C. sieboldii Planch.)
Dracaena fragrans (L.) Ker Gawl. (as C. fragrans (L.) Planch.)[5]

Cultivation and uses

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

In the highlands of Papua New Guinea. leaves of Cordyline and other plants are tied to sticks to mark taboo areas where pandanus language must be spoken during karuka harvest.[7]

"Genus: Cordyline Comm. ex R. Br". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2010-01-19. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
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
Bok-mun Ho (2006). "Cordyline obtecta". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
"Search for Cordyline". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2015-03-29.
"GRIN Species Records of Cordyline". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
Morton, Elsie K. (1964). Crusoes of Sunday Island. Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed. p. 53.
French, Bruce R. (1982). Growing food in the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea (PDF). AFTSEMU (Agricultural Field Trials, Surveys, Evaluation and Monitoring Unit) of the World Bank funded project in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. pp. 64–71. Retrieved 20 September 2018.

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