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Phormium ‘Rubra’

06 Oct 2005

General information

Cultivar name:

Phormium ‘Rubra’ (syn ‘Rubrum’; ‘Selected Red’)


Duncan and Davies Nursery Catalogue (1923) as Phormium tenax rubra.



Phormium tenax


Leaf colour

Colour group:


Upper surface:

Dark purplish-brown with feint paler lines and tiny spots. The midrib is purplish-red and the leaves shade to dark brown at the edges.

Lower surface:

Greyish-brown with a dark brown midrib and margins.



Growth form

Shape group:


Leaf length:

< 110 cm

Leaf width:

< 3 cm


Leaves are relatively long and narrow.

Flowers and fruit



Pictures (Click to enlarge)



Published descriptions


Described as being "a red flax".


(Rubrum) A small upright plant to 2-3 feet tall with maroon foliage. A new cultivar from South Africa. The name 'Rubrum' is used for several other cultivars which undoubtably will lead to confusion. Smaller and darker than Bronze Baby. Stable.


(Rubra) This has been one of the hardiest selections of New Zealand Flax that we have grown in our trials. It has been hardy here for over 20 years, with foliage-burn only in severe winters. P. tenax 'Rubra' makes a small clump to 3' wide of narrow chocolate brown foliage. Dwarf flax would make a great addition to container plantings in colder areas.


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