seeds of Phormium tenax, Flax

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Phormium tenax Samen
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Phormium tenax, also called flax, is a plant species that belongs to the family Asphodelaceae. The plant’s synonyms include Chlamydia tenacissima, Lachenalia ramosa, and Phormium ramosum. Common names for the plant include New Zealand hemp, New Zealand flax or harakeke. The plant has its origins in Norfolk Island and New Zealand. Phormium tenax is capable of reaching a height of up to 7 metres at maturity. The plant largely comprises of a rosette of 2 metre-long leaves that support a 3.6 metre long flowering stalk. The stalk sprouts red and yellow tubular flowers. The leaves are sword-shaped and have a brown, green or bronze colour. Phormium tenax is a source of food for human consumption in the form of highly nutritious nectar. The extraction of the nectar is done using a thin long hollow straw which sucks it out. One can roast the seeds and use them to make coffee. The leaves, on the other hand, are a rich source of edible gum which is concentrated at the base. The gum is also used in the manufacture of paper glue Phormium tenax is a popular ornamental plant in many parts of the world where it’s prized for its bright flowers and beautiful foliage. The plant, therefore, makes a regular appearance in various landscaped compounds, parks, front yards, and gardens. The flowers draw birds and butterflies which has the effect of heightening the aesthetic effect. In addition to being a source of gum, the leaves are also a source of fibre which is used in the making of paper and ropes. Additional uses of the leaves involve making sandals, straps, cloaks, and nets. Once the fibre is removed from the leaf what remains is a leaf pulp which serves as an important ingredient in the making of alcohol. The flowers are a rich source of tannins.
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