New Zealand Flax Flower

I live in the South West in a new (2 years old) garden.  One of the first things we planted here was a New Zealand Flax Tri Colour.  It looks as though it has three flower spikes forming.  Can this be right and if so what will they look like?


  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    It could be.

    The stems and flowers of Phormium Tenax are quite extraordinary. The flowers are clustered along long thick stems, about 6 to 10 feet up in the air.

    The flowers are also especially attractive to bees. It's not unusual to find half-a-dozen bees on each stem.

    These photos were taken in my own garden on 17 July:

    I can't see any flower spikes forming on mine this year. It would seem as though the plant is having a rest, after making such a splendid effort.

  • Wow!  Will keep everything crossed that this is what I can expect!  Have really made an effort to plant things that are beneficial to insects in the garden so this is a great addition.  Thanks so much for the lovely picture Gary

  • backyardeebackyardee Posts: 132

    I have a lovely form, Don't know the variety name but it has the most amazing stripe on the leaves......................but the flowers are the most disgusting dirty mustard. Doesn't fit well with my pink and purple colour scheme.image

  • Is this the yellowy green colour flower I have been reading about?  Hope mine is the red!  Will keep you posted.

  • backyardeebackyardee Posts: 132

    Sounds like it could be, but it looks dirty too. Not a nice colour at all. Sadly I haven't a photo of it.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Mine (in the photos above) is the standard green-leaved variety, which has dark-red blooms.

    I think standard green-leaved form also tends to be a bit more vigourous than the variegated varieties. It's also more hardy, and survives cold Winters better. That said, some people find it a bit too vigourous to fit nicely with other plants. It's not invasive; just big.

  • Bought another Phormium yesterday at Coleton Fishacre (National Trust) Flamingo, is kind of a pinky/apricot/light green leaf, to balance the tri-colour in the other corner, hope it does as well.  Coleton is looking magnificent as ever, it really is my favourite garden ever.

  • PenylanSuePenylanSue Posts: 11

    Lost all my Phormiums winter before last, even the plain green ones. image They also never flowered either.  I think it is just too cold in Mid Wales.

  • backyardeebackyardee Posts: 132

    Maybe, Lost all of ours that were in exposed places winter 2010. The protected area of the garden still has them growing. 1000' up in west wales

  • My flax has been in situe for around 6 years and last summer it shot out 7 longs stems and flowered, the stems are still present but seem hollow and dead now. So these stems flower again or do these need to be trimmed and wait for the next stems to shoot?
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,059

    That's it for those stems Paul. cut them off and look forward to the next show.

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