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Phormium tenax 'Tūtaewheke'. Harakeke cultivar. Orchiston Collection.

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Harakeke cultivar. From Botanic Gardens in Wellington. Rooted plants sent from Taranaki in 1870 (Flax Commissioners Report 1872, "Tutaiwiki"). Identified again by Mrs. Orchiston in 1972. A distinctive variety, with the mature bush having an overall inky blue appearance, the colour of the fluid ejected by the octopus to camouflage itself when under attack - hence the name. Medium to tall, with rather bendy blades. Black keel and margins on older blades, with dark, streaky bronze colourings on upperside. Tawny red margins and veining in the young leaves. The young bush has a yellow-bronze appearance.

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Not best for muka though some of the older blades strip fairly easily.

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28 May 2007
20 May 2020
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