Cordyle fruticosa ‘Red Sister’ is an evergreen tropical plant from the Asparagaceae family of plants. It is also known as Terminalis Fruticosa, Dracaena Terminalis, Cordyline Terminalis, Asparagus Terminalis, Convallaria Fruticosa, and more commonly Ti Plant or Hawaiian Ti Plant ‘Red Sister’, Florida Ti Plant, Palm Lily, Cabbage Tree Ti Plant, Good Luck Plant, Kill, Ti-as, Red Sister Cordyline. It is native to the Pacific Islands, Eastern Australia, and Southeast Asia. Though it is commonly called Hawaiian it is not native to Hawaii. The color of its foliage is very bright and definitely outshines its tiny flowers. Red Sister Plant can grow to 5ft or 1.5m tall with leaves that bright pinkish-red and maroon or burgundy.
Cordyle fruticosa ‘Red Sister’ flowers are tiny pink, purple or white. I flowers in late spring and early summer and the flowers appear in small clusters and are fragrant, it usually only flowers in its natural habitat. In its natural habitat after flowering, it produces some red berries as well. The color of the Cordyle fruticosa ‘Red Sister’ leaves vary greatly and gets brighter and more enhanced with more light. The leaves are glossy and range between 30 to 60cm or 12 to 24in. It is easy to grow and should be planted in moist and fertile soil which is well-drained soil. In temperate climates, it can be planted outdoors in beds. It usually loses bottom leaves as it grows and new growth appears at the top.
Cordyle fruticosa ‘Red Sister’ is generally disease-free and pest-free but do watch out for aphids, scale, mealybugs, and spider mites. Propagate by division from cut stems.
Cordyle fruticosa ‘Red Sister’ can survive full sun but shelter from wind and very hot sun. Like many tropical plants Cordyle fruticosa ‘Red Sister’ requires moisture. But it is better for the topsoil to dry out before watering. Outside its natural habitat usually, it is grown as an indoor plant. Cordyle fruticosa ‘Red Sister’ is also an air purifying plant which removes some toxins from the air.
Cordyle fruticosa has strong cultural significance in the animistic religions of Austronesian and Papuan people. It is used in traditional medicine as well as food. In these cultures, it is believed that this plant has mystical and spiritual powers. The red plants are considered representing blood and the connection between the living and the dead. It was also used by Shamans in Philippine for healing rituals. In Indonesia, it is used to warn evil spirits. And in Micronesia, it is used as part of building houses and buried under newly built houses for protection against sorcery.