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Cussonia paniculata Eckl. & Zeyh.

Cabbage tree, mountain cabbage tree

ParentsUnknownGenus is not in the current taxonomy

About plant names...

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 (cabbage tree, mountain cabbage tree)

A Highveld cabbage tree (Cussonia paniculata) at Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa. 11/22/2008. By NJR ZA.

Online References:

The South African National Biodiversity Institute's web site, plantzafrica.com




Cussonia paniculata subsp. paniculata


Cussonia paniculata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Cussonia paniculata (cabbage tree, mountain cabbage tree)

9/7/2010 · Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, Mass­a­chu­setts

Range: Zones 9a-11:

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