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Black Knight Grass Palm

Cordyline australis 'Black Knight'

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Black Knight Grass Palm (Cordyline australis 'Black Knight') at Roger's Gardens

Black Knight Grass Palm foliage

Black Knight Grass Palm foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Black Knight Grass Palm (Cordyline australis 'Black Knight') at Roger's Gardens

Black Knight Grass Palm

Black Knight Grass Palm

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  8a

Other Names:  Cabbage Palm, Grass Tree, Dracaena Palm


A palm-like shrub or small tree with interesting foliage that emerges deep burgundy and matures to purplish-black; will eventually branch out, and produce panicles of sweet smelling white blooms; a wonderful addition to a tropical themed garden

Ornamental Features

Black Knight Grass Palm features dainty panicles of fragrant white round flowers with chartreuse eyes along the branches in mid summer. It has attractive deep purple foliage with hints of black which emerges burgundy in spring. The sword-like leaves are highly ornamental and remain deep purple throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Black Knight Grass Palm is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Black Knight Grass Palm is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Black Knight Grass Palm will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Black Knight Grass Palm makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features