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Phormium ‘Radiance’

06 Oct 2005

General information

Cultivar name:

Phormium ‘Radiance’

Syn. Phormium tenax ‘Pare Kore Tawa’ (Major V C Heaphy, Transactions N.Z. Institute Vol.2, 117 [1870]), nomen nudum.

Syn. Phormium tenax ‘Parekonitawa’ (Flax Commissioners, 8-9 [1870]). Described as having leaves "of a bright green, striped longitudinally by a brimstone color; the edge and keel is of an orange color".

Syn. Phormium tenax ‘Panikanitawa’ (New Zealand Department of Agriculture Annual Report, 412 [1908]), nomen nudum. Listed as being cultivated on the West Coast as far south as Wanganui.

NOTES: Although the name ‘Pare Kore Tawa’ was published prior to ‘Radiance the International Registrar has advised that ‘Radiance’ is to be conserved because it is the established name in horticulture and a change would lead to confusion (ICNCP, Art. 46).



(L J Metcalf, Journal of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture N.S. 1, 172 [1969]). Includes a detailed botanical description. (See below.)


Phormium tenax


Leaf colour

Colour group:

Yellow variegated

Upper surface:

Lower surface:



Growth form

Shape group:


Leaf length:

< 60 cm

Leaf width:

< 4 cm



Flowers and fruit



Pictures (Click to enlarge)



Published descriptions


‘Radiance’ is a strong grower and a quite striking plant as well. Growth is fairly rapid and it soon makes a strong clump. The rigid leaves never become floppy and untidy, which is another point in its favour. It is of unknown origin.

Botanical description
Leaves 1.8 to 1.5m long and up to 7.5cm wide, stiff and erect, green with pale yellow broad median stripe of varying width. Between the median stripe and the margins there are narrower pale yellow stripes of varying widths, and the margin is lined with bright reddish brown. The general appearance is of a yellow leaf with a few green stripes extending a short distance in from the margin.



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