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Astelia nervosa Westland

Bush flax

Good architectural plant with interesting foliage

A wonderful architectural evergreen plant forming a loose rosette of gently curved, spiky leaves, rather like the top of a giant pineapple. The leaves are pewter in colour and wonderfully lustrous, becoming quite purple and iridescent in winter. Lovely with dark-leaved heucheras or black ophiopogon. A good, silvery alternative to phormiums and cordylines.


Surprisingly best in semi-shade or shade, rather than full sun. Excellent in a pot or container, in a courtyard or under the dappled shade of deciduous trees.


Any well-drained, reasonably fertile soil. No maintenance required, apart from the removal of dead or damaged leaves. 

Astelias originate from woodlands in Australia and New Zealand

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Perennial
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Evergreen Yes
Plant height 60 cm - 80 cm
Plant width 40 cm - 60 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 80 cm
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H3

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Sand, Loam
Light exposure Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Flower border and beds, City garden, Coastal or drought resistant, Gravel garden

Typically available

From April to September