Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cordyline baueri Hook.f.

Branching trunk, the leathery leaves broader than Cordyline australis.  To 4 m.  [].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The plant, from which the accompanying figure is taken, flowered in May, 1827, in the greenhouse of the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, having been raised from seeds sent by Mr. Fraser of New Holland; but without any name or statement of the particular country from which it was obtained.  [BM t.2835/1828]  ‘The history of the New Zealand and Australian Cordylines was long in a state of great confusion, which I attempted to clear up in the’ Gardeners’ Chronicle’ in 1860.  I then showed that the Dracaena australis of Forster, which was undeterminable from that author’s description, was, according to the figure in the Banksian Herbarium, not the plant so cited in this Magazine (Tab. 2835).  I also showed that the Magazine plant, which was sent from the Sydney Botanical Garden, was most probably procured from Norfolk Island [i.e. Cordyline baueri Hook.f.],  whence I have dried specimens collected by A. Cunningham, so long the Superintendent of the Sydney Gardens.’  [BM t.5636/1867].

History at Camden Park

Listed under the name Dracaena australis [T.395/1843] in all published catalogues.  We cannot be certain that the plant referred to as Dracaena australis is Cordyline australis Hook.f. or Cordyline baueri Hook.f.  The latter is quite probable, particularly in light of Macarthur’s association with the King family and hence Norfolk Island.  It is also probable that Macarthur’s Dracaena australis was obtained from Norfolk Island, perhaps via the Sydney garden, where it was known to be grown, or the King family.


Cordylines are placed in Agavaceae in the Hortus, following the classification system of the Hortus Kewensis.  Some authors place them in Asparagaceae, Laxmanniaceae or Lomandraceae while the Flora of New South Wales places them in Asteliaceae.

Published Feb 22, 2009 - 01:44 PM | Last updated Feb 15, 2010 - 11:17 AM

The image shows the entire tree with details of flower, fruit and leaves.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2835, 1828.

Cordyline baueri Hook.f. | BM t.2835/1828 | BHL

Family Agavaceae
Region of origin

Norfolk Island



  • Dracaena australis Hook.
Common Name

Norfolk Island Cabbage Palm

Name in the Camden Park Record

Dracaena Australis 

Confidence level medium