New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax) [SPRING]
(Phormium tenax) New Zealand Flax (aka Harekeki) grows as a clump with elongated grey green leaves to about 8' tall. This evergreen plant is very tolerant of salt spray seaside locations and quite happy in wet (swamp) conditions yet it grows in most soils with little watering and likes full sun. First harvest after 3 years. Not edible...but VERY useful and attractive. It was a main reason the English first went to New Zealand. It is valued for its long strong fibers, that were used it for rope for their sailing fleet. The Maori used it for clothing, weaving, baskets, packs and rope of all sorts. USDA Zones 7-10 though it may need winter mulch in Zones 7 and 8 and may die back in the winter.