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Phormium ‘Maori Chief’

06 Oct 2005

General information

Cultivar name:

Phormium ‘Maori Chief’ (Syn. ‘Rainbow Cheif’)


Selected by Mrs M Jones, New Zealand Flax Hybridisers, Tauranga about 1981 from seedlings raised from Phormium Rainbow Hybrids seed marketed by Mr J. Burton of Hamilton.


Name validated by Heenan (1991) See description below.



Leaf colour

Colour group:

Red variegated

Upper surface:

Bronzy-green with a pale midrib that is purplish-pink lower down. There are stripes of pinkish-red mainly towards the outer edges of the leaves and the margins are orange.

Lower surface:

More bluish-green, the pink stripes are less well defined and the margins and midrib are orange.


Older leaves tend to change towards green and cream. Very similar to 'Sundowner'.


Growth form

Shape group:


Leaf length:

< 100 cm

Leaf width:

< 6 cm



Flowers and fruit



Pictures (Click to enlarge)



Published descriptions

HEE This plant is a large and clumpy with spreading leaves, 1.2-1.5 m X 6-7 cm, central area bronze-green with pink-red stripes inside each margin.
SMG A robust upright plant to 6 feet tall with 2 1/2" wide green centered rose-red margined leaves which arch at the tips. A more refined plant but similar to than 'Sundowner'. Stable.
HOR ‘Maori Chief’, at five feet, is the largest (of the Maori hybrids); it has strong upright leaves that arch at the tips. Its wide green leaves have rose-red margins.


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