Phormium (Flax) Flowers

 A drab little bird with a spectacular song.
Bellbird on a Phormium Flower

New Zealand flaxes (Phormiums) grow along the water's edge in Middle Garden, and in summer they flower spectacularly.


The Moosey Garden is lucky to be the home of some bellbirds. These native birds are nectar drinkers, and the flax flowers are a real favourite. Tuis, too, adore the flax nectar - regetfully I don't have any tuis (we are a little too far south).

Different Phormiums have different coloured flowers - the larger growing the bush the larger the flowering spike that it produces. Some of the coloured hybrids are slow to flower, though - and some (like Jester) never seem to want to.

Horizontal Flowers!

After flowering, many Phormiums then seem to split apart with the weight of the flowering stalks. These can often end up in a rather horizontal position!

 Such a beautiful red.
Red Phormium Flowers

I love the funny seed pods - they look magnificent in a dried arrangement for the house. They start out being either red or a mustard yellow in colour, but dry to a dark brown.

 Drooping down over a blue Salvia.
Yellow Phormium Flowers

New Zealand gardeners are so lucky to have these beautiful spiky shrubs with their unusual, artistic flowers.