New Zealand flax

Phormium tenax

Phormium 'Rainbow River'
Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
Phormium 'Rainbow River'
Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax)
FORM-ee-um TEN-aks
Genus:  Phormium
An excellent architectural specimen, New Zealand flax has a striking geometric shape and intriguingly colored foliage. Rigid, upright leaves to 10 feet long grow in a clump. Cultivars come in chocolate-brown or a mixture of cream, pink, and green stripes. In summer, this Phormium produces a 12-foot-tall spike of tubular red flowers.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Stunning focal point for the border, near buildings, or at lawn's edge.
Care:  Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Grow in a container for summer display where not hardy.
Propagation:  Divide in spring.
Problems:  Leaf spots sometimes occur.

Overview

Height
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Spread
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Characteristics
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
Red Flower
Foliage Color
Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Perennials

Related Plants to Phormium tenax

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Dahlia
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Canna 'Madame Paul Caseneuve'
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Canna 'Sémaphore'
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'Amazing Red' New Zealand Flax
Phormium 'Amazing Red'