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Phormium tenax—New Zealand’s native hard fiber


This large iris-like plant yields a hard fiber which has been important in New Zealand’s past export trade. Today the total native annual production of about 5,000 long tons is wholly utilized domestically and provides only 15 percent of New Zealand’s fiber requirements for use in woolpacks, matting, twine and other articles. Imported fibers, such as sisal, jute and hemp, make up the difference.

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Literature Cited

  1. Atkinson, E. H.Phormium tenax. The New Zealand fibre industry. New Zea- land Dept. Agr., Bull.95. 1922.

  2. Cheesman, T. F. Manual of the New Zea- land flora. 1925.

  3. Critchfield, H. J. New Zealand phormium fiber. For. Apr., Feb. 1950.

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  6. Murray, John. An account of thePhor- mium tenax or New Zealand flax (Printed on paper made from its leaves). Sec. Ed. London, 1838.

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Critchfield, H.J. Phormium tenax—New Zealand’s native hard fiber . Econ Bot 5, 172–184 (1951).

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  • Economic Botany
  • Hemp
  • Stripper
  • Flower Stalk
  • Floor Matting