Ti (Cordyline fruticosa)

Cordyline fruticosa is an evergreen flowering plant in the Asparagus family, Asparagaceae, known by a wide variety of common names including Cabbage Palm, Good Luck Plant, Palm Lily, Ti Plant, Kī, La’i (Hawaiian), Tī Pore (Māori), Sī (Tongan), “Lauti” (Samoan), and ʻAutī (Tahitian ).

Formerly treated in the families Agavaceae and Laxmanniaceae (now both subfamilies of the Asparagaceae in the APG III system), it is a woody plant growing up to 4 m (13 ft) tall, with leaves 30–60 cm (12–24 in) (rarely 75 cm/30 in) long and 5–10-centimetre (2.0–3.9 in) wide at the top of a woody stem. It produces 40–60-centimetre (16–24 in) long panicles of small scented yellowish to red flowers that mature into red berries.
 
Its starchy rhizomes, which are very sweet when the plant is mature, were eaten as food or as medicine, and its leaves were used to thatch the roofs of houses, and to wrap and store food. The plant or its roots are referred to in most Polynesian languages as tī. Māori ranked the sweetness of the plant above the other Cordyline species native to New Zealand.
 
Leaves were also used to make items of clothing including skirts worn in dance performances. The Hawaiian hula skirt is a dense skirt with an opaque layer of at least 50 green leaves and the bottom (top of the leaves) shaved flat. The Tongan dance dress, the sisi, is an apron of about 20 leaves, worn over a tupenu, and decorated with some yellow or red leaves

 

 

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