San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Nursery Closure
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings


  for JULY

Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

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 5 to 6 feet tall by as wide with graceful dark purple-maroon colored 2 to 3 inch 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, shared the plant with us. From discussions with several members of the Hortisexual group we traced the plant back to a trip the group made to the late Raymond C. Walsh's Wildwood Nursery in Upland, California in the 1980s. In honor of Ray, and to avoid the very confusing cultivar name 'Purpureum', since there were several other Phormium cultivars with this name and with permission from the Hortisexuals, 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 then tagged as "Marsha's Red". Some compare this cultivar to the old favorite 'Dark Delight' but 'Wildwood' is a bigger plant with weepier foliage that is broader and has more red in it than more blackish brown and upright growing 'Dark Delight'. 

This information about Phormium 'Wildwood' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.