The Cabbage Tree is native to New Zealand. It resembles a palm tree despite not being a palm. It can grow as high as 9 metres (30 feet) and usually has many branches high up on trunk with few or no branches lower down. Leaves are long and narrow and are accompaned by clusters of small white flowers in summer. The Cabbage tree is a hardy tree that is drought tolerant. Because of this, it is a popular garden tree.
The Maori used the tree as a source of fiber. The tree was also used for medicinal purposes. The common name "cabbage tree" was given by early European settlers in New Zealand who used the inner leaves and stem as a cooked or raw vegetable.