Common name: New Zealand Flax
Phormium tenax J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. APNI*
Description: Tall perennial with basal rosette of long leaves.
Leaves stiff, erect or slightly spreading, 1–2(-3) m long, 4–10 cm wide, glaucous, occasionally with red colouring.
Inflorescence to 3–4 m high; axis stout; flowers 3–5 cm long; perianth connate at base, with lobes 2.5–4 cm long, yellow-orange, tips of outer lobes slightly recurved. Stamen filaments red; anthers olive-green before dehiscence; ovary erect.
Capsule erect, elliipsoid-cylindrical, slightly curved, 4.5–9 cm long, blackish at maturity, persistent; seeds more or less flattened, elliptical in outline, c. 10 mm long, slightly twisted, shining, black.
Distribution and occurrence: Recorded as naturalised near Katoomba and Lawson, Central Tablelands. Native to New Zealand and on Norfolk Island (considered introduced there by some people). .
NSW subdivisions: *CT
Commonly cultivated as an ornamental.
Text by KL Wilson (June-July 2008; edited Dec 2010), based on PS Green (1994) Flora of Australia vol. 49
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.