Bronze New Zealand Flax
Phormium tenax 'Atropurpureum'
Bronze New Zealand Flax flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 6 feet
Spacing: 4 feet
Hardiness Zone: 8a
A stunning perennial that has large burgundy-bronze sword-like leaves that grow tall and vertical; abundant red flowers appear on tall spikes in summer on established clumps; a great center for a mixed container
Bronze New Zealand Flax features showy spikes of red tubular flowers rising above the foliage in mid summer. Its attractive large sword-like leaves remain burgundy in color with showy coppery-bronze variegation throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Bronze New Zealand Flax is an open herbaceous evergreen perennial with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Bronze New Zealand Flax is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Bronze New Zealand Flax will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 4 feet apart. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Bronze New Zealand Flax is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
This plant is not reliably hardy in our region, please use with caution in areas where hardiness is a factor.