• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Once established, needs only occasional watering.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Clump-forming, foliage to 5 ft. tall., 3 ft. wide
    Key Feature:
    Deer Resistant
  • Detail
    Botanical Pronunciation:FOR-mi-um ten-AX
    Plant type:Perennial
    Growth rate:Fast
    Average landscape size:Clump-forming, foliage to 5 ft. tall., 3 ft. wide
    Foliage color:Bronze
    Flower color:Red
    Garden styleContemporary, Tropical
    Design IdeasThis sizable deep-bronze, strap-leafed plant is highly dramatic, and more so under night lighting. Excellent specimen against buff-toned stucco walls or to fill a courtyard corner with a single dramatic accent. Tropical character lends a hint of the exotic to any planting. Excellent reed-like plant for contrast around water gardens or as part of a dry streambed. Try clumps of them in very large Asian glazed pots.
    Companion PlantsFor a striking contrast, use Bronze Flax with bright-green plants, such as Australian Tree Fern (Alsophila australis), Sword Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) or Compact Sprenger Asparagus (Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri Compacta'). Other striking choices include Bird Of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae), Sea Lavender (Limonium perezii) and TapienTM Lavender Verbena (Verbena x 'Lavender').
  • Care
    Care Information
    Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. For a neat appearance, remove old foliage before new leaves emerge. Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years in early spring.
    Light Needs:
    Light needs: Full Sun
    Full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Water needs: Low
    Once established, needs only occasional watering.
  • History & Lore
    This exotic strap-leaf plant is native to the rainforest environment of New Zealand, an island nation east of Australia. The region was populated by the Maori, the tattooed tribal people who gradually migrated there from Fiji and other South Sea islands before about 1300 AD. The Maori found that Phormium tenax, which bore leaves to as long as nine feet, contained strong fibers. These could be twisted into cordage soft enough to weave into fabric for clothing. The genus is classified in the Agave family along with many other fiber producing plants. It was named by German Johann Forster, 1729-1798, who chose it from the Greek for basket, and the species from the Latin for strong. This cultivar was selected by Monrovia.
    Fertilization of Phormium flowers in New Zealand is achieved exclusively by the Tui bird with its uniquely curved beak that can reach the inside of these flowers. Outside of that region the flowers are never naturally pollenated, even by hummingbirds.