Phormium tenax and Phormium cookianum are two native NZ flaxes , known by the Maori names harakeke and wharariki, respectively. These perennial plants are widely spread throughout New Zealand and play an important function in the Maori culture and history of New Zealand.
Beautiful flowers appear in spring and the nectar attracts specifically native birds like tui and bellbirds.
Nurseries are growing many cultivars of both phormium tenax and cookianum with a range of different leaf colors. Unfortunately, most of these beautiful colored flaxes have lost their ability to flower.
Phormium yellow wave is one of the phormium cultivars with yellow creamy arching leaves. It is a very tough plant and tolerates coastal conditions and poor soil. It is a good addition to a mixed border as the yellow leaves give color year round. Unfortunately flowers are seldom seen.
We have this flax in our native border and to our surprise a beautiful flower stalk appeared this spring. Something plant lovers want to share……..