The split leaves can be used to make nets, cloaks, sandals, straps etc. They are also used in making paper and basket making. A strip of a leaf is an excellent emergency string substitute for tying up plants in the garden, it can be tied into a knot without breaking. The leaf pulp, after the fibre has been removed, can be fermented to make alcohol. A gum found in the leaves is used as a paper glue. A brown dye is obtained from the flowers, it does not require a mordant. A terra-cotta dye is obtained from the seedpods. A mauve can also be obtained.The flowers are rich in tannin.
Medicinal uses(Warning!)There are no medicinal uses listed for Phormium tenax.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Phormium tenax. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Plants can withstand temperatures down to about -11°c, but they can be killed in very severe winters in Britain. A polymorphic species, there are many named varieties grown in Britain. This species hybridizes readily with P. colensoi and there are many named forms that may be hybrids with that species. This plant has been considered for commercial cultivation for its fibre, though there is some difficulty in mechanically extracting the fibres due to the presence of a gum in the leaves. An alkali has been successfully used to break down the gum but this weakens the fibre. The Maoris had selected many different cultivars for different uses.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 tenax. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Phormium tenax.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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