• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Moderate growing; reaches 3 to 4 ft. tall and wide.
    Key Feature:
    Dramatic Foliage Color
    Insignificant; prized for foliage.
  • Detail
    Botanical Pronunciation:FOR-mee-um
    Plant type:Perennial
    Sunset climate zones:7 - 9, 14 - 24
    Growth rate:Moderate
    Average landscape size:Moderate growing; reaches 3 to 4 ft. tall and wide.
    Foliage color:Red
    Blooms:Insignificant; prized for foliage.
    Design IdeasThis smaller red flax is well suited to mid-century modern and post modern compositions for dramatic high contrast color and texture. A natural in tropical landscaping with large leaf exotics and hot colored flowers. Use to soften building edges and as foundation planting. Fills up long spans of fence or wall. It's a powerful way to highlight important places in the garden. In a more naturalistic setting in sizeable landscape, plant in groups for massive effect. Works particularly well around ponds, pools and rock waterfalls. Makes a striking potted specimen.
    Companion PlantsCranesbill (Geranium); Hebe (Hebe); Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia); Jasmine (Trachelospermum); Lomandra (Lomandra)
  • Care
    Care Information
    Easily grown in average to fertile, well-drained soil. Water deeply and regularly during the first growing season. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates moderate drought, particularly in cooler coastal regions. Remove old or damaged foliage as needed for a neat, tidy appearance. 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, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.
  • History & Lore
    This hybrid originated by natural cross pollination using the uniquely adapted Tui Bird in New Zealand. The cross of P. tenax and P cookianum produced seed under Mr. J. Burton of Hamilton known as Rainbow Hybrids. This plant was selected by Margaret Jones of New Zealand Flax Hybriders, a noted developer of new hybrids from Tauranga, New Zealand.
    This exotic strap-leaf plant is native to the rainforest environment of New Zealand, populated by the Maori people who used Phormium tenax, leaves for their long fibers. The genus is classified in the Agave family from which many other fibrous plants are derived.


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