Phormium J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.

New Zealand Flax Lily

Greek phormium – basket, referring to the use of the leaf fibres.

Perennial, clump-forming herb. Stems short, erect, unbranched. Leaves numerous, 2-ranked, linearlanceolate, leaf bases flattened. Flowers long-lived, tubular, upright along branches, bilaterally symmetrical, not twisting after flowering, stalked; individual flower stalks articulated. Inflorescence a terminal cymose panicle. Tepals 3+3, fused basally and overlapping to make a tube. Stamens 6, free, exceeding the tepals.ovary superior. Fruit an elongate, angular, capsule. Seeds ovoid, black, without arils.

Grown mostly for the sword-like, sometimes colourfully variegated architectural clumps of leaves.

2 species in New Zealand.Widely cultivated in southern Australia.

Used as fibre plants in New Zealand.

Large fan-shaped plants with one-sided panicles of upright curved tubular flowers.

Moore & Edgar (1970), Beckett (1992).

Source: Conran, J. (2005). Hemerocallidaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Asphodelaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Phormium tenax J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.