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Phormium 'Wings of Gold'

  • Common Name
    New Zealand Flax
  • CA Native
    Non-native
  • Plant Type
    Shrub
  • Size
    2' - 3' x 2' - 3'
  • Flower Color
    Insignificant, Dull Red to Yellow
  • Bloom Time
    • Summer
  • Leaves
    Varigated Green with Creamy-Yellow Edge
  • Evergreen
    Evergreen
  • Deer Resistant
    Rarely Damaged
  • Wildlife Value
    N / A
  • Growth Rate
    Fast
  • Hardiness
    Hardy
  • Adverse Growth Factors
    None
  • Special Features
    • Low Maintenance
    • Specimen
    • Unusual Shape
  • Water Use
    • Low
  • Soil pH
    6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Exposure
    • Full Sun
    • Partial Shade
    • Shade
  • Soil Type
    Not Particular
  • Drainage
    Good Drainage
  • Description and Cultural Plant Tips

    This New Zealand Flax forms compact, upright clumps of strap-like varigated leaves. This varietal is smaller then other forms and can be used as a specimen or in containers. It also looks good in a perennial or shrub border and because of its size does not dominate the surrounding plants.

    Plant slightly above soil grade in a sunny location in coastal areas of Marin. Does better with some afternoon shade in the hotter areas of Marin with some summer water. Needs protection from drying winds so do not plant on west facing hillsides. Remove old foliage before new growth occurs. Divide clumps every 2- 3 years if needed.

    Mealy bugs can infest phormium. See UC IPM for treatment options. Crown rot can also be a problem in poorly drained soils.

  • Master Gardener Comments

    I use these plants in containers since I have gophers & they love to eat the roots of these plants. I have 2 of them at the enterence to my garden walkway. I recommend buying the smaller varieties unless you have a huge garden. The large ones can really overpower a small garden setting.

  • Varietals

    P. 'Dusky Chief' - strong, upright growth to 4 foot with reddish bronze leaves

    P. 'Flamingo' - Compact form up to 20 inches high with orange, green and yellow stripes

    P. 'Thumbelina' -  Small 2 foot tall plant with narrow blades of dark reddish-brown