There are two species of New Zealand flax. Phormium tenax (left), also known as harakeke or swamp flax, has stiff leaves, red flowers, and upright seed pods. It grows mainly on lowland swamps throughout New Zealand. Phormium cookianum (right), also known as wharariki or mountain flax, has softer leaves and yellow flowers. The seed pods droop and twist, becoming thin and papery with age. This species is found on mountain slopes and coastal cliffs.
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Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua
Photographs by Robert Lamberts and Sue Scheele
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