The root is highly purgative
The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute
An edible nectar is obtained from the flowers.
An edible gum is obtained from the base of the leaves
A high quality pliable fibre is obtained from the leaves
A gum found at the base of the leaves is used as a paper glue
There are no medicinal uses listed for Phormium cookianum.
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in February in a cold frame. Germination is sometimes poor but should take place in 1 - 6 months at 15°c. The seedlings are very variable. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed remains viable for about 12 months in normal storage
Division in spring as growth commences. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Phormium cookianum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Prefers a rich loamy soil
but is not too fussy, succeeding in peaty soils and in boggy moorland
. Tolerates light shade
but prefers full sun
. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn
. Very tolerant of maritime exposure, this species is recommended for coastal plantings
Hardy to about -10°c.
Polymorphic, there are many named varieties. This species often hybridizes with P. tenax and there are many cultivars of uncertain origin.
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Phormium cookianum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Phormium cookianum.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
- Strong wind
- Maritime exposure
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
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