Cussonia plants and species
A rather unusual group of plants Cussonia are grown for the foliage and range from smaller growing species suited to container growing to medium to large sized trees. The crowns tend to look a little like large cabbages hence the common name.
Despite the relative unknown nature, some very old specimens can be found growing in various area of Australia. Cussonia are originally from South Africa and are remarkably drought tolerant once they are established.
Usually found growing in rocky ground, all species will form a swollen stem below ground which helps them to be extremely drought tolerant.
Although a number of species exist, only a few are offered for sale, and even these only from selected nurseries.
- C. paniculata is large growing, with a broad spreading crown and reaching a height of 7 – 10m it makes an excellent shade tree that requires little water during our long dry summers. Foliage is attractive, a green to grey and lacy or dissected. The foliage forms to the top of the tree creating a good canopy.
- C. spicata is another that has been grown for many years with one excellent specimen found at Melbourne University in Parkville.
- Botanical Name – Cussonia
- Common Names – Mountaain Cabbage Tree
- Country of Origin – South Africa
- Climate Zones – temperate to cool
- Position – Full sun
- Soil – Well drained humus rich.
- Height – Generally to around 5 metres depending on species
- Spread – Will spread to 4 metres over time.
- Growth Rate – Slow to Medium.
- Foliage – Grey / Green.
- Flowers – A large head on small green flowers
- Flowering Time – Mainly late summer
- Frost tolerant – Yes
- Drought tolerant – Yes
Other Cussonia species.
- Cussonia thyrsiflora is a smaller growing species.
- C. sphaerocephala.
- C. natalensis (Rock Cabbage) will reach around 5m in height and can be grown in containers.
- C. zuluensis can reach around 10m over time.
Cussonia plants are available for sale form the following nurseries
1070 Jacksons Track, Jindivick 3818
Specialising in growing and selling Rare and Unusual Trees, shrubs Perennials Bulbs and Climbers, a unique nursery with amazing stock.
82 David Hill Rd Monbulk (Opposite Vika Ave)
Japanese Maple and Magnolia specialists, Wholesale and Retail. Large range of other deciduous and evergreen ornamental trees and shrubs.
20 Swan Street, Lara, Vic. 3212 Contact: Ph/Fax: (03) 5282 8704
Mail Order and Retail NurseryCacti and succulents. Wide range of trees, palms, ferns, shrubs & perennials.