Genus: New Zealand flax

Phormium

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
New Zealand flax (Phormium)
FORM-ee-um
Agavaceae
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 characteristics:  Large, evergreen leaves and architectural flower stalks.
Care:  Grow 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.
Propagation: 

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

Problems: 

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

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Phormium

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'Amazing Red' New Zealand Flax
Phormium 'Amazing Red'
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New Zealand flax
Phormium tenax