Semi-Popular Articles

Economic Botany

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 172-184

First online:

Phormium tenax—New Zealand’s native hard fiber

  • Howard J. CritchfieldAffiliated withCanterbury University College

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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.