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  for JULY

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Products > Phormium 'Maori Chief'
Phormium 'Maori Chief' - New Zealand Flax
Image of Phormium 'Maori Chief'
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Phormiaceae (~Xanthorrhoeaceae)
Origin: New Zealand (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [P. 'Rainbow Chief', P. 'Chief']
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 'Maori Chief' (New Zealand Flax) - New Zealand Flax cultivar that grows to 5-6 feet tall with 2 1/2" wide green centered, rose-red margined leaves which arch at the tips. Blooms reliably every year with upright spikes of orange-red flowers. 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. A beautiful medium sized red flax that has remained one of our favorites since it was introduced in the U.S. 1985. We have plants in the ground at the nursery that are 20 years old and still have beautiful foliage and are not over sized for the plantings. Phormium 'Maori Chief' was a selection made by Margaret Jones of Tauranga, NZ in 1981 from seedlings grown from "Rainbow Hybrids" seed (A result of crossing Phormium 'Maori Maiden' with P. tenax 'Atropurpureum'). This plant was originally introduced as Phormium 'Maori Chief' but in New Zealand there has been a tendency to replace the word "Maori" with "Rainbow" or leaving the word Maori off completely so this plant is often listed as Phormium 'Rainbow Chief' or just Phormium 'Chief'. The original names by which these plants were described and published should be considered the valid name and the revised names only as synonyms. 

This information about Phormium 'Maori Chief' 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.