Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

Cabbage Tree

Botanical name:  Cordyline australis
Maori name:  Ti Kouka
Common name:  Cabbage tree
Height:  12-20 metres

Cabbage treesFlowers mainly October / November – a distinctive plant with tall straight trunk with a dense rounded head of long straight flax like leaves.  The clusters of flowers have a strong scent and carry nectar which attracts insects in large numbers. 
The fruit is ripe in late summer.

A very important source of food for many birds but especially the saddlebacks who collect insects from the leaves as well.

Maori used cabbage tree leaves for weaving into kits and other containers.  Cabbage tree roots and the inner pith of young trees were steamed in earth ovens to make a porridge-like food called kauru.  Young heart shoots from the growing tip were eaten raw or cooked in hangi ovens.

The European common name derives from the fact that the taste of boiled young leaves is similar to cooked European cabbage.

The genus Cordyline contains about 15 species distributed from India to Australia, the Pacific and South America. There are 5 species in New Zealand, 4 of which are endemic.

Cabbage tree flowerCabbage tree flowers








Photography by Jan Velvin © (top right and bottom left) and Peter Craw © (bottom right)