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Products > Phormium 'Jack Spratt'
Phormium 'Jack Spratt' - New Zealand Flax

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Phormium 'Jack Spratt'
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Phormiaceae (~Xanthorrhoeaceae)
Origin: New Zealand (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Phormium 'Jack Spratt' (New Zealand Flax) - New Zealand Flax cultivar that grows only to 18 inches tall with narrow 1/2" wide twisting reddish-brown leaves. This was the smallest flax that we ever grew. 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. Plant in full sun to light shade. Seems to resent heavy soils - plant on a rise and/or use care not to bury crown when planting. Looks a little more like a grass than a flax. Nice for mass plantings or small containers. We grew this plant grown this plant starting in 1983 and have never seen it bloom. Similar but much smaller than the cultivar 'Surfer'. Phormium 'Jack Spratt' was a selection of Mr. J. Burton of Hamilton, New Zealand. From the nursery rhyme "Jack Spratt could eat no fat. His wife would eat no lean. So between the two of them they licked the platter clean" We grew this interesting small flax from 1983 until 2016 but discontinued it because except in rare conditions, it rarely persisted more than a few years in the landscape.  The information presented on this page is based on research that we have conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations we have made of it growing in the nursery's garden and in other gardens we have visited, as well how it performs in our nursery crops out in the field. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others as well and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they have knowledge of cultural information that would aid others in growing Phormium 'Jack Spratt'.