The previous owner of our coastal property added assorted plants to the probably self-seeded lupins and bracken. There are cabbage trees, pohutukawa, plants whose names I haven’t yet discovered, and flax. And some of those flaxes are now showing off some very fine spears.
I’ve seen tui feeding on other flaxes not too far from our place as the tui flies, and hope that once these spears show their flowers the tui will find us too.
There are two identified species of flax in New Zealand — Common flax (Phormium tenax) and (Phormium cookianum — also called wharariki). …
Within the two flax species, there are numerous different varieties of flax. Some have drooping, floppy leaves while others grow as stiff and upright as spears. Flax flowers can vary in colour from yellow to red to orange.
Flax was a valuable resource to Europeans during the nineteenth century because of its strength. It was New Zealand’s biggest export We all recognise the tall, green, sword-like leaves of flax that can be found growing throughout New Zealand. Harakeke was the name given to this plant by Māori. The first European traders called it ‘flax’ because its fibres were similar to that of true flax found in other parts of the world. Although we still call it flax today, harakeke is P. Gerbeaux really a lily. Flax is unique to New Zealand and is one of our most ancient plant species.
[Via : Harakeke/flax.]
I’ve added to the flax numbers in the last few months. Of the 30 I planted back in early July around 25 are still either flourishing or hanging on.
Today I ordered more plants — not flax this time, but native grasses and toi toi. There are toi toi on properties around ours, but the previous owner told us she’d had no success growing them inside the boundary. I hope I can succeed where she failed.