Local Heart, Global Soul

July 15, 2012

Flax… Nature’s Work of Art…

At various stops, and in various gardens we see one of my favourite New Zealand plants: Flax. A lot of Kiwi’s grow it  in their gardens for it’s evergreen qualities but I love the stalks and seed head pods  that grow out of the top to produce the flowers. I’m looking for inspiration from the plant world for my drawing at the moment and this is right up my street.

Wiki tells about flax better than I can:

“New Zealand flax describes common New Zealand perennial plants Phormium tenax and Phormium cookianum, known by the Māori names harakeke and wharariki respectively. They are quite distinct from the Northern Hemisphere plant known as flax (Linum usitatissimum), but the genus was given the common name ‘flax’ by Anglophone Europeans as it too could be used for its fibres.”

Me? (gardening philistine that I unfortunately am…)  Flax is simply Nature’s work of art.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


  1. Never knew what flax looked like before today 🙂

    Comment by Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife — July 15, 2012 @ 7:48 am | Reply

    • Tilly, apparently the Northern Hemisphere flax looks different (I only know the Southern Hemisphere one)
      I really love the form of the pods and the sticks that hold them and they have a orange-red flower that looks a little like a fiery chilli, or like another beautiful New Zealand Native: the Kakabeak. (so named because it looks like a the New Zealand “Kaka” bird/parrots beak).

      Comment by kiwidutch — July 15, 2012 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

  2. Thank you for sharing about flax, Kiwi. I never knew any of this!

    Comment by Kathy — July 15, 2012 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

    • Kathy,
      These plants are indigenous to New Zealand but they are now found in some places in the world as ornamental garden plants due to their evergreen qualities… I like their artistic qualities as the pods are really photogenic and they inspire me on my quest to get better at drawing plants.

      Comment by kiwidutch — July 15, 2012 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

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