Phormium 'Maori Sunrise'
New Zealand flax (syn. Rainbow Sunrise)
An arching short phormium with greenish bronze leaves, striped in salmon pink, picks up warm apricots, madder pinks and soft yellows in summer and gives leaf in winter
- Position: full sun/partial shade
- Soil: fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July to August
- Hardiness: frost hardy (may need winter protection)
With their arching, strappy, sword-shaped leaves, Phormiums make a dramatic statement in the garden. Originating from New Zealand, where their fibre has traditionally been used in the same way as hemp or sisal, they are versatile evergreen plants that tolerate a range of conditions and look at home in a variety of different planting schemes. They have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more colourful varieties being introduced. As its name suggests, this one looks particularly exotic, with slender, apricot, gold, pink and bronze striped leaves. It is compact too, so try it as a specimen in a large container on the patio, or to provide structure among ornamental grasses. In hot summers, a spike of tubular, yellow-green flowers will shoot up from the centre, followed by sturdy seed-heads.
- Garden care: In late spring, remove any dead or damaged leaves and apply a mulch of well-rotted organic matter to stimulate vigorous, new growth.
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