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Phormium tenax

Common Name(s):
New Zealand flax
Cultivar(s):
Guardsman, Mao
Category:
Ornamental Grass
Comment:

Phormium tenax, commonly called New Zealand flax, is native to New Zealand. It is an evergreen, clump-forming tender perennial that is grown for its attractive foliage.  It features rigid, sword-shaped, linear, bright green leaves (3-9’ long) in erect clumps.  Leaf margins and midribs are narrowly edged with red-orange.  Leaves are creased down the middle and folded into a v-shape. Panicles of dark red flowers appear well above the foliage atop stout, rigid flowering spikes (to 12’ tall) in summer.  It makes a good container plant, but plants in containers grow much smaller and rarely flower.  This plant is highly salt tolerant.

Light:
Sun to partial shade
Height:
8-9; some compact cultivars
Zones:
8-10
Form:
Crowded clumps
Soil:
Average, well-drained soil
Inflorescence:
Reddish brown trumpet-shaped flowers on tall, naked stalks
Tags:
salt tolerant

NCCES plant id: 650

Phormium tenax Phormium tenax
Phormium tenax Flower detail
Steve Corey, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Phormium tenax Flower stalk
Brewbooks, CC BY-SA - 4.0
Phormium tenax Leaf detail
Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY - 2.0
Phormium tenax Whole plant
Purdyrns, CC BY - 2.0