Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Phormium tenax New Zealand Flax

Phormium tenax 'Yellow Wave' with purple Tradescantia pallida

Phormium tenax, bronze cultivar in front of a decorative wall
As a landscaping plant ,Phormium have been a bit overused and have often ended up like a piece of road-kill, squashed in the middle and looking very forlorn indeed. The bright rainbow of coloured cultivars which became available in recent years, had the problem of reverting to plain green or brown. The near black cultivars absorbed so much heat, they cooked in strong sunlight.
All but the very hardy varieties need a cool temperate climate and growing conditions of a well drained reasonably fertile moist soil to do well. However,they are very successful in salt spray coastal gardens but seem much happier when given a few companions such as taller background shrubs and ground cover plants around their base .

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