T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Phormium cookianum subsp. cookianum (Mountain flax, Wharariki)

Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae
Subfamily: Hemerocallidoideae
Genus: Phormium
Species: P. cookianum subsp. cookianum
Binomial name: Phormium cookianum subsp. cookianum
Common name: Mountain flax, Wharariki,

Phormium cookianum ssp. cookianum is a flax up to 1-3 metres tall but generally smaller than Phormium tenax. The numerous leaves are 5-12cm wide, thick, fibrous, droopy, and rise from fan-like bases. The tubular 25-40 mm long flowers are a dull pink or yellow colour. The seed capsule is pendulous and twisted. 
P. cookianum ssp. cookianumx differs from P. cookianum ssp. hookeri by its shorter, stouter leaves, and a dark margin that typically lines the edge of the leaves.Phormium cookianum ssp. cookianum is scarce in the North Island where it known from high alpine situations in the Tararua Ranges, and possible elsewhere within the central axial ranges. In Taranaki found naturally on steep banks in the sedimentary hill country and there are a few plants on the Kaitake Range in the Mt. Egmont/Taranaki National Park. It is common in the South Island, in subalpine/alpine situations.
It is now widely planted in parks and gardens throughout Taranaki.

For more details visit http://nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.asp? ID=1110

Photographed at Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve. Wellington.