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Phormium ‘Sundowner’

06 Oct 2005

General information

Cultivar name:

Phormium ‘Sundowner’ (AGM) (syn.‘Sundown’)


Introduced by Mr B. Porteous, Browns Bay, Auckland.


L J Metcalf, The Cultivation of New Zealand Trees and Shrubs, 254 (1987). (See description below.)



Leaf colour

Colour group:

Red variegated

Upper surface:

Greyish-olive green (197A) with bright pinkish-red (47B) stripes concentrated mainly towards the edges and tips of the leaves. Red-brown (183A) margins. Older leaves tend to turn green and yellow.
1cm section

Lower surface:

Similar colour but with a greyish tinge and less distinct pink stripes.(47C)  The margins and midrib are orange-brown.(183A)
1cm section


We have a similar looking cultivar with the name of ‘Sundancer’. Our plants with this name tend to be slightly brighter colour but probably not enough to warrant a separate name.


Growth form

Shape group:


Leaf length:

< 110 cm

Leaf width:

< 5 cm



Flowers and fruit



Pictures (Click to enlarge)



Published descriptions


Described as being "a rather erect-growing plant with the bronze leaves variously striped with red and pink. The striping varies and often the bronze is more dominant".


A large upright grower to 7-9 feet tall with 2 1/2" wide bronze-green leaves with rose-pink margins that fade to cream in summer. New foliage is always stunning!


Vigorous grower. Broad upright sword-like leaves of coppery red and radiant pink margins, fading to cream. Flushed pink at maturity.


Usually has bronzy centers with coral red margins and streaks. Coloration is less dramatic with age. Moderately wide leaves are stiffly held. To 4’.


Five to 6 feet; rosy margins that fade to pink and cream.


Purple, pink and cream.


‘Sundowner’, an upright five-footer with wide, glossy, bronzy green leaves edged with narrow dark rose margins that fade to cream; its new leaves are particularly colorful.


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