Cabbage Tree, Mountain Cabbage Tree
Mountain cabbage trees are South African natives, not found in the wild in North America.
Identification: The “gnarly” bark and crooked branching of this small tree is attractive and suggestive of bonsai. Trees are up to 16' (5 m) high. The stem is thick and squat, with corky bark. Both the stem base and the roots store water, like all responsible succulents. Leaves are palm-like in that they radiate from a central source in groups of 7-9 and up to 13 leaflets, long, narrow and lobed in general shape; large, bluish-green, almost silvery, and waxy. Leaflets are up to 12" (30 cm) long. They may be deeply lobed, like dandelion leaves; or barely lobed, more like aloe leaves. The leaf shapes are very interesting—they remind me of large blue-green snowflakes. Flowers are small and green, in short spikes on stalks. Fruits are purple.
Cussonia paniculata on the South African National Biodiversity Institute's web site, plantzafrica.com
Cussonia paniculata on www.louistheplantgeek.com
Cussonia paniculata on www.hartebeestfonteinconservancy.org.za
Cussonia paniculata on www.operationwildflower.org.za
Cussonia paniculata on Hortipedia
Cussonia paniculata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.
Range: Zones 9a-11: