image description

Photo Credit: Kamalani Pali

image description

Photo Credit: Forest and Kim Star

image description

Photo Credit: Forest and Kim Star

PRINT DETAILS

QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 8
  • FAMILY  Agavaceae
  • CATEGORY Grasses & Groundcovers

New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax)

An evergreen, perennial monocot that can grow up to 13' tall and 7' wide. Flowers are red or yellow tubular flowers that arise in bunches extending up to 12' tall. The leaves are rigid, sword-shaped and erect. Leaf color can range from bright green to bronze and purple.  The fruit is a 3-angled capsule up to 4" long, containing many small wind-dispersed seeds.This self-compatible flax produces abundant viable seeds (10,000 per plant) that are wind dispersed and shade tolerant. This rosette-like lily forms dense thickets from which other species are excluded. It crowds out native vegetation and blocks the sunlight. Plants can root on the ground, in hapu'u trunks, open pig disturbed grassland, and along steep ridges. It can invade a relatively intact native forest and as well as disturbed grassland. 

  • 13 feet tall and 7 feet wide
  • Rosette-like lily forms dense thickets from which other species are excluded
  • Grows in relatively intact native forest and disturbed grassland
  • Produces 10,000 seeds per plant which are dispersed by wind

Harm

  • Produces abundant seeds (10,000 per plant)
  • Wind dispersed seeds
  • Shade tolerant
  • Self-compatible
  • Invaded a high elevation ‘ōhi‘a-uluhe rainforest on Molokai