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Products > Phormium 'Wildwood'
Phormium 'Wildwood' - Berkeley Purple Flax
Image of Phormium 'Wildwood'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Phormiaceae (~Xanthorrhoeaceae)
Origin: New Zealand (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [Phormium 'Purpureum']
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Phormium 'Wildwood' (New Zealand Flax) - a most beautiful New Zealand Flax cultivar that grows to 4-6 feet tall with graceful dark purple wide leaves that arch over toward the tips. Plant in full sun to light shade. Can tolerate fairly dry conditions (coastal) but looks best with occasional to regular irrigation. Hardy to 15-20 F. Possibly root hardy below these temperatures but with severe foliage damage unless protected. This plant circulated in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1990's as Phormium 'Purpureum', being passed from gardener to gardener by a group of devout horticultural gardeners who call themselves the "Hortisexuals" and one member, Marcia Donahue, also shared the plant with us. From discussions with several Hortisexuals, we traced the plant back to a trip the group made to the late Raymond C. Walsh's Wildwood Nursery in Upland, California. In honor of Ray, and to avoid the very confusing cultivar name 'Purpureum' since there were several other Phormium cultivars with this name, we renamed this plant 'Wildwood' in 2001 at which time we had finally built up enough stock of this plant to begin selling it - it is the most asked about Phormium in our garden and we continue to offer this beautiful plant today. Many thanks to Marcia Donahue for giving us a start of this beautiful cultivar. As what we think was a tribute to Marcia we note that at the entrance to the Strybing Arboretum (now the San Francisco Botanic Garden) there is a beautiful planting done by Planet Horticulture with this Phormium tagged as "Marsha's Red".  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of this plant in our nursery crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we visit. We also will incorporate comments that we receive from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Phormium 'Wildwood'.