Postage and Packing Free - 'Torbay Palms' are from New Zealand, reverse migrants brought to the UK by returning travellers. Its tropical appearance and temperate hardiness are a natural fit for the 'English Riviera'.
publication date: March 2012
Cordyline australis, a landscape-defining tree in New Zealand, is rapidly becoming a global species. I recently encountered it in Albania's capital city, Tirana, and saw glimpses of its distinctive shape out of a train window passing through Austria. It is particularly established in the UK, having defied the normal direction of ecological colonialism and headed north to the old centre of empire which provided New Zealand with so many of its exotic species. Torbay ti kouka focuses on the tree's position in the landscape of South West England. Initially introduced in the nineteenth century, its tropical appearance and temperate hardiness are a natural fit for the English Riviera where it has become so much a local feature that it is known as the Torbay palm. No longer the indigenous ti kouka/cabbage tree of its southern homeland, it has been relocated, hybridised and utilised to redefine a new domestic landscape.