Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Zealand Flax

Phormium

A small genus of evergreen perennials that are closely related to the Agaves.
They thrive in full sun on moist, fertile, well drained soil that is deeply mulched during winter. They are tolerant of ocean salt breezes and pollution.
These most spectacular specimen plants look great as a focal point, especially with a gravel mulch. They also look great in planters and the smaller varieties are great for the urban garden.
Propagation is from division.

* photo of unknown internet source

* video found on Youtube


Phormium cookianum
A very large, fleshy-rooted, evergreen, clumping perennial, reaching a maximum size of 7 x 10 feet, that is native to New Zealand.
The sword-shaped leaves, up to 6 feet x 2.4 inches in size, are green.
The tubular flowers are brown on the outside, pale green on the inside.
The flowers are borne during late spring to early summer.
They are followed by nodding seedpods.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 ( tolerating as low as 2 F as a dieback perennial on protected sites ), it thrives on coastal sites.

'Cream Delight'
Moderate growing, reaching up to 3 x 6 feet with leaves, up to 2.5 inches across, that are green and boldly vertically striped creamy-yellow.

'Dark Delight'
Reaches up to 4 x 6 feet, with leaves, up to 4 feet in length, that are deep reddish-purple.

* photos taken on Aug 25 2013 @ University of Maryland, College Park


'Emerald Green'
Dwarf in habit, reaching up to 1 foot, with bright green foliage.

'Tricolor'
Forms a vigorous clump of drooping leaves, up to 5 feet in length, that are green in the center, surrounded by bold yellow vertical strips and a rose-red margin.
The yellow flowers are borne on a spike up to 3 feet high.

Phormium tenax
A very large, fleshy-rooted, evergreen, clumping perennial, reaching a maximum size of 17 x 14 ( usually closer to half that ) feet, that is native to New Zealand. It has naturalized in similar climates to its native range, including western Ireland and the mildest parts of England.
The stiff, thick, sword-shaped leaves, up to 10 feet x 6 inches in size, are deep olive-green above, blue-green beneath.
The rusty-red, tubular flowers are borne atop a purple stalk.
They are followed by nodding seedpods up to 4 inches in length.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 ( tolerating as low as 2 F as a dieback perennial on protected sites ). Tolerant of flooding and seashore conditions.

* photos of unknown internet source



* historical archive photos


'Atropurpureum'
Fast growing with bronzed leaves.
Hardy zones 7 to 11, tolerating 2 F as a perennial.

'Aurora'
The leaves, up to 10 feet in length, are deep green and attractively vertically striped pink above, blue green beneath.

'Black Magic'
Also called 'Platt's Black'. Forms a moderate growing, compact clump, up to 4 feet in height, with rich, very dark bronze-purple foliage.

'Bronze Baby'
Forms a fast growing, compact, upright clump. The leaves, up to 3 feet x 1.5 inches, are deep purplish-red.

'Dazzler'
Forms a foliage clump, up to 3 feet high, of arching leaves, up to 1.5 inches across, that are bronze with scarlet-red vertical stripes.

'Evening Glow'
The leaves, up to 40 x 1.3 inches, are bright reddish-pink with a narrow grayish-brown margin.

'Firebird'
Forms a moderate growing, upright clump, up to 5 feet high. The stiff leaves, up to 2 inches across, are purplish-bronze with bright red vertical marginal strips.

'Flamin'

* video found on Youtube


'Gold Sword'
Forms an erect clump of foliage up to 3.3 feet in height.
The broad leaves are bright yellow with vertical deep green stripes near the margin.

'Goliath'
A huge, vigorous form, with gigantic leaves, up to 13 feet x 5 inches.
The foliage is olive-green above, bright blue beneath.
The flower spikes are up to 12 feet tall.

'Guardian'
Also called 'Red Guardian'. Forms an upright clump, up to 7 feet high.
The leaves, up to 1.5 inches across, are deep bronze-red with a deep red margin.

'Lineatum'
Stiff leaves, up to 6 feet in length, that are olive-green with narrow vertical creamy-yellow stripes. Makes a great container plant.

'Maori Chief'
Also called 'Rainbow Chief'. Forms a vigorous, upright clump. The leaves, up to 5 feet x 3 inches, are bronze-green with pinkish-red vertical stripes close to the margin.

'Maori Maiden'
Also called 'Rainbow Maiden'. Moderate growing with upright leaves, up to 5 ( rarely over 3 ) feet x 2 inches, that are intense orange-red to rosy-red with a thin green margin.

* photo of unknown internet source


'Maori Queen'
Forms a large clump of erect leaves, up to 5 feet x 3 inches each. The leaves are olive-green to bronze-green with a rose-red margin that fades to creamy-white.

'Maori Sunrise'
Also called 'Rainbow Sunrise'. Moderate growing. The leaves, up to 32 x 1.6 inches, are salmon-pink ( fading to pale yellow ) with vertical narrow bronze-green bands near the margin.

'Pink Stripe'
Forms a moderate growing clump, up to 5 feet high, with foliage that is bronzy-green to nearly gray with a bold broad bright pink margin.

'Radiance'
Forms a clump of erect sword-shaped leaves, up to 6 feet x 3 inches each, that are pale yellow with a mid-green margin.

'Sundowner'
Forms an upright, large clump, up to 7 x 10 feet, of huge leaves, up to 6 feet in length.
The leaves, up to 2.5 inches across, are bronze-green with intense rosy-pink margins that later fade to creamy-white.

'Sunset'
Forms an upright clump, up to 5 feet high. The long leaves, up to 1.5 inches across, are orangish-pink ( later fading to creamy-yellow ) with a bronze-green margin.

'Thumbelina'
Forms a dense dwarf clump of slightly twisted, very narrow leaves, up to 16 inches in length, that are bronze-purple.

'Tom Thumb'
Fast growing, with narrow leaves, up to 18 inches in length, that are green with a very narrow reddish-bronze margin.

'Variegatum'
Forms an upright, large clump, up to 6 ( rarely over 4 ) feet high. The broad leaves, up to 3 inches across, are deep gray-green with bold creamy-yellow vertical strips.

'Yellow Wave'
Vigorous in habit, with graceful leaves that are upright with drooping tips.
The leaves, up to 4 feet x 2 inches, are yellow with an intense mid-green border.
It is easily propagated.

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