New Zealand flax yellow wave phormium
Below are the reasons to plant Phormiums in all kinds of gardens:
Perfect in pots
Flowers attract pollinators
In a landscape, Phormium is evergreen and won’t be bullied by dogs.
Phormium, mixes well with other drought tolerant plants or can stand solo in a planter.
Trim fading or tattered leaves down to the base. Also avoid planting Phormiums under trees that deposit a lot of leaf litter, like redwoods, because the tree duff will settle in the crown and make the plant rot-prone and unhappy unless regularly cleaned of excess duff.
Provide well-draining soil.
Planting in sun is preferable but will tolerate partial sun.
In 1769, a great navigator named Captain James Cook and a great botanist named Joseph Banks arrived in New Zealand and noticed the native Maori people wearing a fine cloth similar to linen made from Phormium. Linen is constructed from flax, so this plant became known as New Zealand flax. Phormium, however, is low yielding plus the fiber is more like jute—weak and coarse. Attempts at setting up manufacturing shops proved futile though the plant has been called the “Cinderella of Fibers” waiting for Prince Charming to rescue it. But don’t hold your breath—Phormium clothing stores will not arrive at the mall any time soon.
- Date Listed:31/07/2020
- Last Edited:31/07/2020
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