New Zealand Flax – Phormium tenax

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New Zealand Flax – Phormium tenax

Common Name: New Zealand Flax, New Zealand Hemp

Botanical Name: Phormium tenax, FOR-mee-um TEN-ax

Decorative Life: 5-14 days.

Flower Color: , , ,


Family Roots:
  • As a member of the Agavaceae (agave family), some of its common relatives include dracaena, tuberose and yucca.
  • Native to New Zealand.
  • Leaves are up to 36 inches long, narrow, pointed and often multicolored.
  • Plant is a herbaceous perennial, classed as a monocotyledon.
Storage Specifics:


  • From the Greek “phormion” (mat) referring to the fiber produced from the leaves.
  • The specific epithet name tenax means strong or tenacious, referring to the strong fiber.
  • Important species for its leaf fibers.
  • Good for linear aspects of design, works well with tropical flowers.