Bronze Flax

A week ago when we walked out of town and up the road through farmland, taking photos of trees with bare branches, I’d noticed how beautiful the bronze-coloured flaxes were looking. Most side-of-the-road flaxes are green but sometimes we see brown or bronze flaxes, and occasionally variegated forms. This one, with a few similar companions, were in a minority with the rest of the group being the usual green. Phormium species. Tapanui, West Otago, New Zealand.

Click on any photo to enlarge.


In the background are the Blue Mountains.

~photos by Nigel


More bare branched trees, with an occasional exception (second photo).


Text by Liz; photos by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2021)

4 thoughts on “Bronze Flax

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    1. Within NZ itself two species of flax are recognised – Phormium tenax and Phormium cookianum. Within the species, forms can be quite variable and also the two species readily hybridize. Nigel told me the bronze is a different ‘variety’. This language is supported by Missouri Botanical Garden who in their online page refer to: “Bronze and purple leaved varieties are available in commerce …”

      While looking into this I found a great (general) info page about flax that I’ve bookmarked for myself: https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/tools-and-resources/collections/new-zealand-flax-collections/weaving-plants/harakeke-and-wharariki/

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