Phormium tenax is an evergreen perennial plant native to New Zealand and Norfolk Island that is an important fibre plant and a popular ornamental plant. The plant grows as a clump of long, straplike leaves, up to two metres long, from which arises a much taller flowering shoot, with dramatic yellow or red flowers.
The tough, sword-shaped leaves usually darkish green but sometimes have colored edges and central ribs. Cultivated varieties range from light green through pink to deep russet bronze. There are numerous variegated cultivars with leaves marked by contrasting stripes in shades of green, red, bronze, pink and yellow. Widely cultivated as ornamental garden plant, striking fans of pointed leaves providing a focal point in mixed plantings or at the edge of a lawn. They are easy to grow in a sunny spot, especially in coastal areas with some protection in winter, but require reliably moist soil. Great for filling garden beds, edges, and containers.