Cordyline stricta

Narrow-leaved Palm-lily

Family: Asparagaceae

Cordyline stricta is a tall, narrow herbaceous lily-plant to potentially 5 metres tall.

North from near Bilpin, NSW, it grows chiefly along the coastal subdivisions into North QLD. Mainly found in wet sclerophyll forest and rainforests.

The leaves are deep, glossy green, linear, up to 50 cm long by about 2.5 cm wide with a sheathing base. They emerge of the central stem in tufts in a 360° radius.

The small white to purple flowers are produced in clusters (panicles) to 40 cm long, in winter and spring, from the upper leaf axils.

Fruits are black berries, 15 mm in diameter.

In the garden

It is a tall background or narrow screening plant especially in a shaded area. It is adaptable in a range of climates. However, it prefers moist soils in semi shade but is surprisingly tolerant of extended dry conditions once established. It is very hardy and can grow and flower quickly.

They are a little frost tender.

When small, it makes an excellent container plant and can be kept indoors for long periods. The plant can be pruned to any height and will reshoot readily.


Propagation can be carried out from seed which germinates readily. Division of larger plants is also a useful method of propagation and stem cuttings also strike readily.

Other information

Unlikely to be affected by fire in its natural environment. Fire is likely very detrimental. Regeneration from seed bank may be possible after one fire or

Cordyline – from Greek kordyle (kορδύλη), meaning a club or cudgel, referring to the club-like shape of the stems and rhizomes of some species.
stricta – from Latin strictus, rigid, referring to the appearance of the plant (having an erect and upright habit of growth).

Not considered to be at risk in the wild.


By Jeff Howes