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Agavaceae

Phormium

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Phormium 'Rainbow River'

The genus Phormium contains a couple of species of perennials from New Zealand that are grown for their large clumps of strap-like leaves and spikes of small, tubular flowers on leafless stems. Many cultivars have colorful or variegated foliage, ranging from green to red to bronze-purple. They are a strong structural presence in the garden. Grow as a border specimen, in containers, or in a coastal garden.  

Noteworthy CharacteristicsLarge, evergreen leaves and architectural flower stalks.

CareGrow in full sun in fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Plants may be overwintered in a cold greenhouse or mulched heavily if left out in winter where not hardy.

PropagationDivide plants or sow seed at 55° to 64°F in spring.

ProblemsGenerally trouble-free, but leaf spots sometimes affect plants.

Species and cultivars

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