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Phormium tenax

New Zealand flax

P. tenax is a robust evergreen perennial making a medium-sized clump of dark grey-green, strap-shaped leaves. Tubular, dull red flowers about 4cm in length, in a panicle to 4m in height

Other common names
common flax lily
flax bush
see moreNew Zealand hemp
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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Red Green Grey Silver
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter Green Grey Silver
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Asphodelaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Phormium are evergreen perennials, making a large clump of leathery, strap-shaped leaves, with tall panicles of small, tubular flowers in summer

Name status

Correct

Plant range
New Zealand

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grows best in fertile well-drained soil in full sun. May need protecting in northern climes

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in spring or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Gravel garden
  • Coastal
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Dead or damaged leaves may be removed in the spring

Pests

Phormium mealybug may be a problem

Diseases

Generally disease free

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