Corypha australis R.Br.
Livistona inermis R. Br.
Common Name: Cabbage Palm
Cabbage palm is a large, attractive, solitary-stemmed palm tree that can grow 30 metres or more tall, though is usually a bit smaller. The slender, unbranched stem can be 25 - 35cm in diameter[
The apical bud was a favourite food of the Australian Aborigines and early white settlers, though this is rarely eaten nowadays since doing so leads to the death of the plant. The plant is often cultivated as an ornamental .
Australia - Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland.
Moist sheltered localities, usually near the coast[
], especially in eucalyptus forests[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Found mainly in warm temperate to subtropical areas in the wild, but also extending into the tropics. It is found at elevations up to 100 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 28°c, but can tolerate 8 - 34°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 900 - 1,100mm, but tolerates 800 - 1,200mm[
Succeeds in full sun or partial shade[
]. Plants grow well in full sun, even when small[
]. Plants naturally grow in forest habitats and, especially when young, require some shade from the sun for at least part of the day[
]. Requires a sheltered position in a fertile moist but well-drained soil that is preferably neutral to acid[
]. Although plants prefer a deep moist soil, they can also succeed in dry climates[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, tolerating 5 - 7.5[
]. Plants can tolerate at least some maritime exposure with salt spray and somewhat saline soil conditions[
The plant is moderately resistant to damage from forest fires[
Plants are very amenable to pot cultivation and can be grown successfully in containers for many years[
Palms usually have deep penetrating root systems and generally establish best when planted out at a young stage. However, older plants are substantially more cold tolerant than juvenile plants[
]. In areas at the limit of their cold tolerance, therefore, it is prudent to grow the plants in containers for some years, giving them winter protection, and only planting them into their permanent positions when sheer size dictates[
]. Palms can also be transplanted even when very large. Although the thick fleshy roots are easily damaged and/or desiccated, new roots are generally freely produced. It is important to stake the plant very firmly to prevent rock, and also to give it plenty of water until re-established - removing many of the leaves can also help[
Plants are slow-growing[
Young unfolded leaves - raw or cooked[
]. The young and tender leaves are eaten like cabbages[
]. The young leaf buds are often used but, since the plants are unable to produce side-shoots, this effectively kills the plant[
The leaves are used for thatching and making hats[
]. They are large and fibrous and can also be used for making baskets, bags, nets etc[
Seed - sow in deep containers in order to avoid root constriction, planting two seeds in each container[
]. The seed of this species has a longer viability than that of most palms[
]. If necessary, thin the seedlings to the best plant and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
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