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Genus Phormium Family Phormiaceae

Description: Tall, tufted, perennial herbs, rhizomatous.

Leaves linear-ensiform, equitant.

Inflorescence paniculate, with deciduous sheathing bracts; upper bracts smaller, subtending short flowering branchlets. Flowers slightly zygomorphic, bisexual; pedicels articulated; perianth segments forming a tube, free or connate at base; inner segments slightly longer than outer. Stamens inserted near base of tube, unequally exserted; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary superior, elongate; ovules in 3 rows, axile; style filiform, terete; stigma small.

Fruit an elongate loculicidal capsule; seeds numerous, more or less flattened, black.


Herbarium
Sheet

Distribution and occurrence: Two species; New Zealand and Norfolk Island. Commonly cultivated as an ornamental; P. tenax has been recorded as occasionally naturalised in the Blue Mountains.

Phormium is sometimes placed in the family Hemerocallidaceae.

Text by KL Wilson (June-July 2008; edited Dec 2010) based on PS Green (1994) Flora of Australia vol. 49
Taxon concept: PS Green (1994) Flora of Australia vol. 49

One species in NSW: Phormium tenax

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