Phormium is also known as New Zealand Flax. Because the Maoris actually used for making a type of linen clothing as well as ropes and baskets because of its strength. Gardeners know it as a large to dwarf shrub depending on variety or hybrid . Often very colorful in an array of colors on beautiful sword shaped foliage making a bold statement to any garden or as a container plant. New hybrids are being developed in amazing color combinations of yellows, pinks, bronze, reds, black and more. Full sun to part shade, hardy to zone 7b and higher taking temps as low as 20 F. Flowering bracts occur when plant begins to mature producing many seeds on long upright spikes.