New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax)
|Common Name||Latin Name||Plant Family|
New Zealand Flax
A very high quality pliable fibre is obtained from the leaves[11, 57, 61, 128, 153]. It is used in the manufacture of ropes (they are not very strong), twine, fine cloth etc. The fibre can also be used for making paper The leaves are harvested in summer, they are scraped to remove the outer skin and are then soaked in water for 2 hours prior to cooking. The fibres are cooked for 24 hours with lye and then beaten in a ball mill for 4 hours. They make a cream paper.
The split leaves can be used to make nets, cloaks, sandals, straps etc. They are also used in making paper and basket making[153, 169]. A strip of a leaf is an excellent emergency string substitute for tying up plants in the garden, it can be tied into a knot without breaking.
The leaf pulp, after the fibre has been removed, can be fermented to make alcohol.
A gum found in the leaves is used as a paper glue.
A brown dye is obtained from the flowers, it does not require a mordant.
A terra-cotta dye is obtained from the seedpods. A mauve can also be obtained.
The flowers are rich in tannin.
Cultivation & Habitat
Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.
*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] , see bibliography.