Certain plants just have a bigger following than others. Perhpas it's shape, color, blossom time…
Cordylines fill Fort Lauderdale garden center.
On a recent visit to Fort Lauderdale I could not resist a visit to a nursery called Living Color Garden Center. I passed it regularly on the road to the hotel where I was staying.
The colorful plants behind the large fence that surrounded the property caught my eye.
The plant I noticed as I walked around inside had to be the tropical plant called cordyline.
Here is a short video compiled from photos I took during my visit. You can see the cordyline varieties in both red and yellow.[below]
Here is a photo of a few Rhapsis palms, with their yellow and green colors. [below]
This is a red cordyline called ‘Dr. Frank Brown’ from the same nursery. [below]
I also found another red called ‘Chilli Pepper’.
A showy cordyline offers a bit of a Victorian look to the garden in the summer.
Introduced into Europe in the early 1800s, the cordyline became important during the Victorian period.
English garden writer David Stuart writes in his book women seeking men usa that during Victorian times the cordyline became the ‘dot’ plant which was surrounded by many other flowering plants, whether in a container or in a flower bed.
Today a gardener can choose from among several varieties of the cordyline for a bit of that Victorian look.
You can find the species cordyline fruticosa or Hawaian Ti at both box stores and some nurseries in a gallon and a half container. You may have to look in the indoor plant section of the store. This cordyline is much taller and wider than the popular cordyline australis ‘Red Star.’ In the pot it stands almost two feet high and more than a foot wide. It can easily fill a large container by itself.
In warmer areas of the country like Florida cordyline grows outdoors all year. The plant originates in tropical Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
What is amazing about the cordyline is its long showy, stiff colorful foliage. It is the perfect plant choice to add that lush tropical color to any outdoor summer environment. Easy to care for, it is tolerant of both over and under watering.
Though the cordyline is a tropical plant, once popular in the Victorian garden, it certainly can still add both color and structure to the summer garden in areas with a warm summer.