New Zealand flax

Phormium ‘Guardsman’


The New Zealand flax is a highly common plant found growing in gardens and landscapes throughout the Inland Empire. It is the quintessential strap-leaf perennial that is available in many sizes and foliage colors and is often planted for contrast and accent character in parkways, mixed tree and shrub plantings, in containers and along walkways and borders.

Many cultivars of flax are available from nurseries and garden centers. One cultivar, P. ‘Guardsman’ is a large growing selection that provides vivid red and maroon foliage color. It can grow 4-6 ft. tall and slowly form large clumps. As with other New Zealand flax cultivars, it is best to avoid placement within hot and sunny summer exposures to minimize leaf burning. It is adaptable to many soil conditions and is a low maintenance, trouble-free plant.

Plant Type: Perennial
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Robust, Clumping, Arching
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Burgundy, Red
Flower Color: Burgundy
Flower Season: Summer, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Loam, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Heat, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Raised planters, Parks and open space, Near pools and water features, Mass planting, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Container plant, Civic spaces, Borders, Banks
Height: 5 ft. – 7 ft.
Width: 4 ft. – 5 ft.