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Care of the plant Cussonia spicata or Common cabbage tree.

Care of the tree Cussonia spicata or Common cabbage tree

The genus Cussonia, family Araliaceae, includes 20 species of trees and shrubs native to Africa. Some species are: Cussonia spicata, Cussonia paniculata, Cussonia arborea, Cussonia transvaalensis, Cussonia holstii.

Common names: Common cabbage tree, Spiked cabbage tree, Lowveld cabbage tree. This species is native to southern Africa.

They are trees with succulent roots and thick gray trunks that reach 15 meters (49.21 feet) in height. The bright green evergreen leaves have several lobes and appear in rounded groups at the ends of the branches, giving the plant a very attractive appearance. The flowers are very small but appear in tight spikes that can be decorative. The fruits are brown and then purple.

These fast-growing plants are used in small gardens as single specimens, in public parks, and even in large pots when young. In the region of origin the roots are used for medicinal purposes against malaria.

Cussonia spicata can grow in full sun or semi-shade exposure. They resist well the heat of the Mediterranean summer but not the frosts; the winter temperature should not drop below 5 ºC (41 ºF).

They prefer well-drained soils, with a certain ability to retain moisture and containing organic matter. The transplant is done in spring with great care not to damage the fleshy roots.

Water frequently in spring and summer in such a way that the substrate never dries completely (never overwater). They can withstand a few days of drought.

Fertilize with compost or manure at the beginning of spring and with mineral fertilizer every 30 days in spring and summer.

They do not need pruning but dry branches can be removed in late winter.

They are plants resistant to pests and diseases.

They propagate by seeds sown immediately after their collection in a sandy and slightly humid substrate. They take 3 to 8 weeks to germinate and are usually transplanted a year.

Images of the tree Cussonia spicata or Common cabbage tree

Cussonia spicata
Cussonia spicata
Cussonia spicata
Cussonia spicata
Cussonia spicata
Cussonia spicata