The two main varieties of New Zealand flax are (left) Phormium tenax – harakeke or swamp flax – and Phormium cookianum – wharariki or mountain flax. Harakeke has stiff leaves and grows mainly in lowland swamps. Wharariki has softer leaves and 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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