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Phormium Platt's Black

New Zealand flax

Dark leaves offer great contrast in a mixed planting

A striking architectural plant with slightly arching upright leaves with drooping tips up to 90cm (3ft) in height, compact in habit for a phormium. The leaves are deep purple black and make a real impact in the garden. Excellent for contemporary and tropical planting schemes and as a contrast in form and texture to other shrubs and perennials.


Plant in full sun or semi-shade in a sheltered position in a bed or border or in gravel. Ideal for a pot on the patio, balcony or in a courtyard. Excellent for costal gardens.


Any free-draining fertile soil that does not become waterlogged in winter. Drought tolerant when established. No pruning required except the removal of dead leaves and faded flower spikes, if produced.

Phormiums are natives of New Zealand where fibres from the leaves have been used to make textiles, strings, mats, fishing nets and baskets.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Flowering July - September
Evergreen Yes
Plant height 50 cm - 100 cm
Plant width 50 cm - 100 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Hazardous No
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies Yes
Plant height in 5 years 65 cm
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun, 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