New Zealand Flax


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

New Zealand Flax

 

(Phormium tenax), a perennial herb of the Liliaceae family, sometimes classified in the Agavaceae family. It has sword-shaped leaves up to three m long arranged in two rows on a short stem. The branched blossom cluster, 1.5–4.5 m high, bears 250–460 red or yellow flowers, which are pollinated by birds. The fruit is a three-faceted pod. The leaves contain a strong fiber used for making twine, rope, ship rigging, and matting. New Zealand flax is native to New Zealand and Norfolk Island, where it grows in large thickets on moist plains and mountain slopes. It can withstand temperatures of –10°C. The plant is raised for both industrial and decorative purposes in many subtropical countries. In the Caucasus, along the Black Sea, New Zealand flax is grown in gardens and parks and on small plantations.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
New Zealand Flax (Phormium) These col ourful plants with sword- shaped leaves in a variety of colours -from yellows and creams to reds and pinks -go well against the palms.
New Zealand flax, introduced in 1874, played an important role in the island's economy, and the museum houses a section showing the development of this industry which flourished, particularly during the early 1950s, when St Helena hemp was exported to the UK for use in tying the mail bags of the British Post Office.
The bold Phormium or New Zealand Flax will add drama to your planting scheme.
To clean away the blood, they used muka--fibers of New Zealand flax, harakeke (Phormium tenax).
The local materials used by these Southern California students included leaf sheafs from the giant philodendron, New Zealand flax plants, King Palm fruit stems, fan palm, Draco Dracena, iris leaves, date palm fruit stem, grapevine, ivy, honeysuckles and many more.
Other ones you might include in your Ch i golden border would be Choisya ternata 'Sundance' or yellow variegated cordylines and New Zealand Flax can make a splash.
Chartreuse New Zealand flax and smoke tree (Cotinus 'Golden Spirit') add a yellow glow at either end, while pink-flowered rock-rose 'Victor Reiter' and wispy restio (Cannomois virgata) soften the other plants' spiky forms.
PHORMIUM OTHERWISE known as New Zealand flax, these can give your garden a really dramatic twist and stay looking fabulous through the long, dry summer days when the majority of herbaceous perennials are flagging.
You'll need eight New Zealand flax leaves for each star, cutting four leaves to around 18cm in length and four slightly shorter.
In recent years the New Zealand flax, Phormium, has become very popular, with its strong, vertical strap-shaped leaves that give height and structure to the garden.
What the Aussies and the Kiwis once saw as little more than weeds - those marvellous tree ferns (Dicksonia antartica and Cyathea australis), the grass trees, the New Zealand flax (phormiums) and bottle brushes (callistemons) - and dumped on the tip with the rest of the week's garden refuse, we are importing in increasing quantities.

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