Alphabetical Plant Listing

Phormium tenax (New Zealand Flax)

New Zealand Flax, Common Flax Lily, Flax Bush, New Zealand Hemp, Coastal Flax


Stunning focal point for the garden, Phormium tenax (New Zealand Flax) is a very ornamental and robust evergreen perennial featuring a basal rosette of rigid, sword-shaped, upright leaves up to 10 ft. long (3 m), ranging from green to bronze to chocolate-brown. Some cultivars produce variegated leaves, beautifully striped or edged with pink, red, orange or purple, adding a bright note to the garden year-round. The architectural foliage is topped in summer with a dramatic flowering stalk reaching up to 12 ft. (360 cm) and bearing panicles of tubular flowers, about 2 in. long (5 cm), in shades of deep red or reddish-orange. Showy, they attract nectar-seeking birds. Native to New Zealand, Phormium tenax is primarily grown for its attractive foliage.

  • Adds architectural height to the garden and grows up to 1-12 ft. high (30-360 cm) and 1-3 ft. wide (30-90 cm).
  • Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils, including poor soils and even a strong shade. Salt and drought tolerant.
  • Deer and rabbit resistant
  • Great for beds and borderscity gardens, coastal gardens, gravel gardens or Mediterranean gardens. Excellent as container plant!
  • Virtually disease free. Watch for mealybug
  • Propagate by seed sown in spring or by division in spring
  • Remove dead or damaged leaves in the spring
  • Great Phormium tenax cultivars:
    'Duet' - with sword-shaped leaves green in the centre, variegated with cream along the margins. 32 in. tall (80 cm). AGM award
    'Sundowner' - with erect bronze-green leaves striped towards the margins with red and pink. 5 ft. tall (150 cm). AGM award
    'Variegatum' - with erect, strap-shaped, green leaves striped with cream towards the margins. 5 ft. tall (150 cm). AGM award
    'Yellow Wave' - with arching, strap-shaped leaves heavily striped with bright gold. Up to 12 ft. tall (3m60). AGM award










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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Heat Zones 2 – 12
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Phormium - Flaxes
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' – 12' (30cm – 3.6m)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spacing 12" – 36" (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Salt
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Heat Zones 2 – 12
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Phormium - Flaxes
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' – 12' (30cm – 3.6m)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spacing 12" – 36" (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Salt
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Phormium - Flaxes

Guides with Phormium - Flaxes

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