Botanical name: Phormium
Botanical name: Phormium
Phormium comprises a small genus of grasslike flowering plants in the Asphodelaceae family. They are normally found in swamps and low-lying regions but can grow in a wide range of habitats. The leaves are tough and sword-shaped, with cultivated varieties coming in an assortment of colors. Phormium species were historically used to make ropes, sails, and fabrics. The Latin name comes from an Ancient Greek word for "basket."
Species of Phormium
New zealand flax 'Jester'
New zealand flax 'Jester' has a unique structure and contrasting coloration with pink leaves with lime-green edges. Bred from the flax plant, the new zealand flax 'Jester' cultivar is an eye-catching garden plant popular as either an accent piece or for use as a colorful border.
Flax 'Maori Queen'
Set apart by its bronze and cream coloring, the flax 'Maori Queen' will shift to more cream color throughout its season. It is a selection of Phormium cookianum “Maori Maiden” and Phormium tenax “Atropurpureum,” part of the "Maori" series developed by Margaret Jones in New Zealand, where one finds the indigenous Maori people. The flax 'Maori Queen' can be used as an accent, cut flower, specimen, or container cultivar.
New zealand flax 'Amazing Red'
Compact size, shockingly red flowers, and bronze-colored evergreen foliage make new zealand flax 'Amazing Red' truly stand out. Cultivated as a New Zealand flax hybrid, this variety was aptly named for its amazingly red blooms and reddish leaves. New zealand flax 'Amazing Red' is popular in small gardens for its manageable size, centerpiece ornamental look, and appeal to hummingbirds.
Flax 'Cream Delight'
Flax 'Cream Delight' is a New Zealand flax cultivar named for the creamy white centers of its leaves. It provides color in the winter garden when other plants are dormant. This is a versatile plant to fill a large space or form a backdrop for showier plants.
New zealand flax 'Dark Delight'
New zealand flax 'Dark Delight' is a flax bush with very dark, reddish-brown leaves, which give it its sultry name. It is originally native to New Zealand but is enjoyed in many countries because it creates such an interesting texture and visual effect in a garden. Its long, spined leaves can be as tall as 1.5 m, and it is very disease resistant.
Flax 'Tricolor' is most admired for the color of its sword-like foliage, green with cream-colored stripes and vivid red margins, hence the name 'Tricolor'. Gardeners also love the flowers that protrude out above the foliage in summer. It's a subspecies of Phormium cookianum, but the original parent plant doesn't have the red coloration interestingly.
New zealand flax 'Variegatum'
New zealand flax 'Variegatum' is a type of flax which has green and white variegation running vertically up and down the edges of its long leaves. It blooms in orange-red stalks in summer. This cultivar is disease-free, low-maintenance, and can grow in areas of low moisture.
New zealand flax 'Sundowner'
New zealand flax 'Sundowner' is a New Zealand flax that has striking leaves; the dark reddish-green centers are surrounded by a sunset-tinged pink edge that pales to a creamy yellow later in the season. This is an impressive hybrid, given that the parent plant's leaves are typically a single-colored purple. This hybrid received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
New zealand flax 'Platt's Black'
New zealand flax 'Platt's Black' is a New Zealand flax cultivar, noted for its sword-like, chocolate brown to gray leaves. New zealand flax 'Platt's Black' is presumably one of the darkest New Zealand flax cultivars. It is often used in landscaping, mostly as an accent plant, but it also provides an excellent contract when planted along with brightly colored plants.
New Zealand flax 'Yellow Wave'
New Zealand flax 'Yellow Wave' (Phormium tenax 'Yellow Wave') is an ornamental cultivar of New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax). These plants have attractive bright yellow-striped leaves. Though new Zealand flax 'Yellow Wave' rarely flowers, its mature yellow flowers draw a variety of bird species. These plants can be planted in most gardens and do well as border plants.
New zealand flax
New zealand flax is an evergreen plant that produces red, erect flowers. Although the plant is primarily grown for its attractive flowers, it will not produce them if planted in small containers. The plant thrives in natural conditions and prefers well-draining soil and full sun.
Mountain flax is a perennial considered sacred to the Māori people of New Zealand, where the plant is endemic. The Māori have historically used it to weave baskets and make waistbands. This large-leaf plant is propagated by dividing its root ball.
Care Guide for Phormium
OrderAsparagus and allies