San Marcos GrowersSan Marcos Growers
New User?
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search by Plant Name
Advanced Search
Search by size, origins,
color, cultural needs, etc.
Website Search
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings



 Weather Station

Products > Cordyline australis 'Krakatoa'
Cordyline australis 'Krakatoa' - Grass Palm

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Dracaenaceae (~Agaveaceae)
Origin: New Zealand (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Height: 20-30 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Cordyline australis 'Krakatoa' PPAF (Krakatoa Grass Palm) - This is a palm-like, sub-tropical tree that grows with an upright habit and with age will branch to produce several heads. This cultivar is a very showy plant with tufts of 3 feet long dark pink striped with red-brown sword-like leaves held at the end of the branches. The broad pink on the mid-rib of the leaf fades to white with age. Like the other colorful Cordyline australis cultivars this plant should grow to be a branched 10 to 20 foot tall by 5 to 10 foot wide evergreen tree and produces large panicles of small, sweet-scented flowers in late spring to summer. Best in full coastal sun to light shade - some shade protection necessary in hotter inland gardens. It is drought tolerant in coastal gardens but responds well to occasional to regular irrigation. Useful in dry gardens but also offers a tropical look. A great container plant. It can tolerate coastal conditions if protected from direct sea winds (Zone 2) . It is hardy to around 15 F, growing well in USDA zones 9-10 (and possibly warmer Zone 8 locations). This plant lives up to its name with new reddish growth that looks like emerging lava that then turns nearly white. While it can be one of the showiest of the Cordyline its variegation seems very unstable and the plants often fade to a bronze red though new foliage is often still bright. It is also very prone to sunburning of the foliage while in its pale white phase. 'Krakatoa' was originally introduced by Hewton Nurseries of Devon England. It was a sport of 'Torbay Red' (similar if not the same as 'Dark Star') that occurred in tissue culture but they too thought the plant very unstable. San Marcos Growers acquired this plant in 2005 but has since discontinued growing it.  The information on this page is based on the research that we have conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from what we have found on reliable online sources, as well as from observations made of our crops of this plant growing in the nursery and of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Cordyline australis 'Krakatoa'.