Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cordyline manners-suttoniae F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and fruit. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1865) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5: 195. Type: In monte Ellioti, Fitzalan; haud procul ab urbe Rockhampton, Dallachy et Bowman. Lecto: Fitzalan, MEL 645614. Fide Pedley (1986).

Common name

Giant Palm-lily


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub, single-stemmed or branched, up to 5 m tall.


Leaf blades about 35-65 x 6-15 cm, green on the underside. Petiole about 12-30 cm long, grooved on the upper surface, U-shaped in transverse section. Numerous secondary veins run parallel to the main lateral veins.


Panicles to 25 cm long, pedicels about 7-12 mm long. Tepals glabrous, about 10-12 mm long, arranged in separate whorls.


Fruit about 1-1.5 cm diam. Embryo small, narrowly cylindrical, bent about the middle. Endosperm hard and oily.


One or two cataphylls produced before the first true leaves. First pair of leaves longitudinally veined, glabrous, apices mucronate, petiole bases sheathing the stem. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves longitudinally veined, apices aristate. Petioles U-shaped in transverse section, longitudinally veined and sheathing the stem. Petiole margin translucent. Seed germination time 35 to 49 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 660 m. Grows in rain forest and other types of forest around swamps or on poorly drained soils.

Natural History & Notes

Cultivated as a garden or indoor plant.

Cordyline terminalis var. manners-suttoniae (F.Muell.) Baker, Journal of the Linnean Society, Botany 14 : 541(1875).
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