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Encyclopedia > New Zealand flax
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How to read a taxobox
New Zealand flax

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Family: Hemerocallidaceae
Genus: Phormium
Species

P. cookianum
P. tenax Image File history File links Size of this preview: 404 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1836 × 2724 pixel, file size: 2. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... Divisions Green algae Chlorophyta Charophyta Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta—liverworts Anthocerotophyta—hornworts Bryophyta—mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) †Rhyniophyta—rhyniophytes †Zosterophyllophyta—zosterophylls Lycopodiophyta—clubmosses †Trimerophytophyta—trimerophytes Pteridophyta—ferns and horsetails Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta—seed ferns Pinophyta—conifers Cycadophyta—cycads Ginkgophyta—ginkgo Gnetophyta—gnetae Magnoliophyta—flowering plants... It has been suggested that Angiospermae, and Anthophyta be merged into this article or section. ... Liliopsida is the botanical name for a class. ... Families according to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group Agapanthus Agavaceae Alliaceae Amaryllidaceae Aphyllanthaceae Asparagaceae Asphodelaceae Asteliaceae Blandfordiaceae Boryaceae Doryanthaceae Hemerocallidaceae Hyacinthaceae Hypoxidaceae Iridaceae Ixioliriaceae Lanariaceae Laxmanniaceae Orchidaceae Ruscaceae Tecophilaeaceae Themidaceae Xanthorrhoea Xeronema Asparagales is an order of monocots which includes a number of families of non-woody plants. ... Genera Agrostocrinum Dianella Eccremis Hemerocallis Phormium Simethis Stypandra Thelionema Xeronema Hemerocallidaceae are a family of flowering plants. ... Binomial name Phormium tenax New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax), known as Harakeke by New Zealand Maori for many centuries, was and still is one of the most versatile plants on earth. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ...

New Zealand flax describes common New Zealand perennial plants Phormium tenax and Phormium cookianum, known by the Māori names harakeke and wharariki respectively. They are quite distinct from the Northern Hemisphere plant known as flax (Linum sp.). Māori or Te Reo Māori, commonly shortened to Te Reo (literally the language) is an official language of New Zealand. ... The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planets surface (or celestial sphere) that is north of the equator (the word hemisphere literally means half ball). On the Earth, the Northern Hemisphere contains most of the land and about 88-90% of the human population. ... Binomial name Linum usitatissimum Linnaeus. ...


New Zealand flax produces long leaf fibres that have played an important role in the culture, history, and economy of New Zealand. Phormium tenax occurs naturally in New Zealand and Norfolk Island, while Phormium cookianum is endemic to New Zealand. Both species have been widely distributed to temperate regions of the world as economic fibre and ornamental plants.[1]


The naturalist Jacques Labillardière collected indigenous flax plants when French ships visited the far north of the North Island of New Zealand in 1793. He had noted the many uses the Māori had put to the plant and in 1803 gave it the scientific name Phormium, meaning "basket" or "wickerwork", and tenax meaning "tenacity" or "holding fast". Jacques Labillardière Jacques-Julien Houtou de Labillardière (1755–1834) was a French botanist noted for his descriptions of the flora of Australia. ... North Island The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, the other being the South Island. ... This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ...


Phormium tenax is found mainly in swamps or low lying areas but will grow just about anywhere and is also much propagated in gardens as an evergreen decorative plant, both in New Zealand and now worldwide. Phormium tenax is an herbaceous perennial monocot. Monocot classification has undergone significant revision in the past decade, and recent classification systems (including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) have found Phormium tenax to be closely related to daylilies (Hemerocallis). Phormium tenax formerly belonged to the family Agavaceae and many classification systems still place it there. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A Silver Fir shoot showing three successive years of retained leaves In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant which retains its leaves year-round, with each leaf persisting for more than 12 months. ... Orders Base Monocots: Acorus Alismatales Asparagales Dioscoreales Liliales Pandanales Family Petrosaviaceae Commelinids: Arecales Commelinales Poales Zingiberales Family Dasypogonaceae Monocotyledons or monocots are a group of flowering plants usually ranked as a class and once called the Monocotyledoneae. ... The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group is an international group of systematic botanists who have come together to try to establish a consensus view of the taxonomy of flowering plants in the light of the rapid rise of molecular systematics. ... Species , etc The daylily is any of about 15 species of flowering plants in the genus Hemerocallis. ...

Contents

Appearance

Phormium tenax flowers have the same curvature as the beak of the nectar eating Tui seen in the photograph.
Phormium tenax flowers have the same curvature as the beak of the nectar eating Tui seen in the photograph.

The tough, sword-shaped leaves grow up to three metres long and up to 125 mm wide. They are usually darkish green but sometimes have coloured edges and central ribs. Cultivated varieties range from light green through pink to deep russet bronze. There are numerous variegated cultivars with leaves marked by contrasting stripes in shades of green, red, bronze, pink and yellow. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 439 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (450 × 614 pixel, file size: 437 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Species Phormium tenax Family Hemerocallidaceae Photo shows New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) flowers and native tui on stalk Photo taken by Moriori 24/11/04 for... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 439 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (450 × 614 pixel, file size: 437 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Species Phormium tenax Family Hemerocallidaceae Photo shows New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) flowers and native tui on stalk Photo taken by Moriori 24/11/04 for... “Foliage” redirects here. ... The or meter (see spelling differences) is a measure of length. ... A millimetre (American spelling: millimeter, symbol mm) is an SI unit of length that is equal to one thousandth of a metre. ... This Osteospermum Pink Whirls is a successful cultivar. ...


The rigid flower stalks can be up to five metres long, projecting high above the foliage. In November (in New Zealand) they produce clumps of curving tube-like flowers which turn bright red when mature. These produce unusually large quantities of nectar to attract all nectar feeding birds such as the tui and insects. The seedpods that develop after pollination, each contain hundreds of seeds which are later widely dispersed by the wind. A Phalaenopsis flower Rudbeckia fulgida A flower, (<Old French flo(u)r<Latin florem<flos), also known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). ... In Greek mythology, nectar and ambrosia are the food of the gods. ... Binomial name Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae (Gmelin, 1788) A Tui on a flax flower The Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) is an endemic passerine bird of New Zealand, one of the largest members of the diverse honeyeater family. ... {{Taxobox | color = pink | name = Insects | fossil_range = Carboniferous - Recent | image = European honey bee extracts nectar. ... A flower-fly pollinating a Common Daisy (Bellis perennis) Pollination is an important step in the reproduction of seed plants: the transfer of pollen grains (male gametes) to the plant carpel, the structure that contains the ovule (female gamete). ...


Use by Māori

When the Māori came to New Zealand, they brought with them the paper mulberry plant from which they made bark cloth for clothing. The paper mulberry did not flourish and a substitute material was found in the native flax. As Captain Cook wrote: “Of the leaves of these plants, with very little preparation, they (the Māori) make all their common apparel; and of these they make also their strings, lines and cordage …”. They also made baskets, mats, and fishing nets from the undressed flax.


Plaiting and weaving (raranga) the flax fibres into baskets were but only two of the great variety of uses made of flax by Māori who recognised nearly 60 varieties, and who carefully propagated their own flax nurseries and plantations throughout the land.


Leaves were cut near the base of the plant using a sharp mussel shell or specially shaped rocks, more often than not greenstone (jade, or pounamu). The green fleshy substance of the leaf was stripped off, again using a mussel shell, right through to the fibre which went through several processes of washing, bleaching, fixing, softening, dyeing and drying. Subclasses Pteriomorpha (marine mussels) Palaeoheterodonta (freshwater mussels) Heterodonta (zebra mussels) The term mussel is used for several families of bivalve molluscs inhabiting lakes, rivers, and creeks, as well as intertidal areas along coastlines worldwide. ... A selection of antique, hand-crafted Chinese jade (jadeite) buttons Unworked Jade Jade is used as an ornamental stone, the term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals. ...


The fibres of various strengths were used to fashion eel traps (hinaki), surprisingly large fishing nets (kupenga) and lines, bird snares, cordage for ropes, baskets (kete), bags, mats, clothing, sandals (parara), buckets, food baskets (rourou), and cooking utensils etc.


The flax fibre called muka which was laboriously washed and bleached and hand worked until it became extremely soft is the base for the beautiful feather cloak, the kahu huruhuru, a traditional garment that is highly prized by Māori. It is adorned with colourful feathers from the native huia, kiwi, tui, kererū (woodpigeon) and kākā (parrot). // Binomial name Heteralocha acutirostris (Gould, 1837) Synonyms Neomorpha acutirostris Neomorpha crassirostris (male) Heteralocha gouldi The Huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) was a bird endemic to New Zealand. ... Species See text. ... Binomial name Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae (Gmelin, 1788) A Tui on a flax flower The Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) is an endemic passerine bird of New Zealand, one of the largest members of the diverse honeyeater family. ... Binomial name Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae (Gmelin, 1789) The kererÅ« or New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae novaseelandiae (Gmelin)) is a bird endemic to New Zealand. ... Binomial name Nestor meridionalis (Gmelin, 1788) The Kākā, Nestor meridionalis, is a parrot native to the forests of New Zealand. ...


The handmade flax cording and ropes had such great tensile strength that they were used to successfully bind together sections of hollowed out logs to create huge ocean-going canoes (waka). It was also used to make rigging, sails and lengthy anchor warps, and roofs for housing. A waka displayed at the Otago Museum, Dunedin In the Māori language and New Zealand English, waka are Māori watercraft, usually canoes. ...


Frayed ends of flax leaves were fashioned into torches and lights for use at night. The dried flower stalks, which are extremely light, were bound together with flax twine to make river rafts called mokihi.


Medicinal properties

For centuries, Māori had collected the abundant nectar from the flowers to make a crude honey and to generally sweeten foods, but it was the myriad of medicinal uses that made the plant so important to the everyday health of Māori. A jar of honey, shown with a wooden honey server and scones/biscuits. ...


Flax roots were boiled and crushed and applied externally as a poultice for boils, tumours and abscesses, as well as to varicose ulcers.


Juice from the pounded roots was widely used as a disinfectant, and taken internally to relieve constipation or expel worms. It was also applied to bullet or bayonet wounds. Disinfection of a floor using a mop Disinfectants are antimicrobial agents that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms, the process of which is known as disinfection. ... Click here for Computer worm For other uses, see Worm (disambiguation). ... The US Marine Corps OKC-3S Bayonet A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a knife- or dagger-shaped weapon designed to fit on or over the muzzle of a rifle barrel or similar weapon. ...


The gum-like sap produced by flax contains enzymes that give it blood clotting and antiseptic qualities to help healing processes. Though unaware of the enzymes, Māori were fully aware of its curative properties and that it is a mild anaesthetic, and widely applied the sap to boils and various wounds, to aching teeth, to rheumatic and associated pains, to ringworm and various skin irritations, and especially to scalds and burns. The abbreviation, acronym, or initialism SAP has several different meanings: SAP AG, a German software company, or its various products such as SAP R/3 or SAP Business Information Warehouse second audio program (television) Session Announcement Protocol Soritong audio player Simple As Possible Computer Architecture Structural Adjustment Program of the... Ribbon diagram of the enzyme TIM, surrounded by the space-filling model of the protein. ... An antiseptic solution of iodine applied to a cut Antiseptics (Greek αντί, against, and σηπτικός, putrefactive) are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction. ... Anesthesia (AE), also anaesthesia (BE), is the process of blocking the perception of pain and other sensations. ...


Splints were fashioned from bases and flax leaves, and thin strips of muka fibre were disinfected in the gel before being used to stitch wounds. Flax leaves were used as bandages and to secure broken bones much as plaster is used today, and the pulp of pounded leaves was applied as dressings.


Research into modern medicinal and cosmetic uses are currently underway.


Flax seed oil from New Zealand flax is not commercially available, but its production and properties are currently being researched. Flax seed oil that can be bought in many countries (aka linseed oil) is extracted from the seeds of the European flax, a plant that belongs to a different plant family.


Defence uses

During the early Musket Wars and later New Zealand land wars, Māori used large, thickly woven flax mats to cover entrances and lookout holes in their pa fortifications. The Musket Wars were a series of battles fought between various tribal groups of Maori in the early 1800s, primarily on the North Island in New Zealand. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Some warriors wore a type of vest jacket fashioned from heavily plaited sections of flax. If they weren’t deliberately designed to have the same effect as today’s flak jackets, they achieved the same purpose by decelerating a musket ball so successfully its effect dropped from being lethal to wounding only.


International trade

In the very early 1800s the quality of rope materials made from New Zealand flax was already widely known internationally, as was the quality of New Zealand trees which were used for spars and masts, and the British Navy was one of the very largest customers. The Royal Navy is the navy of the United Kingdom. ...


The flax trade burgeoned, especially after male Māori recognised the advantages of trade and adapted to helping in the harvesting and dressing of flax which had previously been done exclusively by females (stripping machines later replaced the manual labour).


An unforeseen consequence of this growing trade, with tragic outcomes for Māori, was the trading of flax for flintlock muskets which prompted one-sided intertribal warfare and led to the well documented Musket Wars which decimated many tribes. A flintlock is a firearm that operates in the following manner: The operator loads the gun, usually from the barrel end, with black powder followed by shot or a bullet wrapped in a paper patch, all rammed down with a special rod; A cock or striker tightly holding a shaped...


Cultivars

In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Phormium cultivars available. The 2005-2006 edition of the Royal Horticultural Society Plant Finder listed 75 cultivars. The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 as the London Horticultural Society, and gained its present name in a Royal Charter granted in 1861 by Prince Albert. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Extraction, content, strength, and extension of Phormium variety fibres prepared for traditional Maori weaving, New Zealand Journal of Botany, 2000, Vol. 38: pg. 469.

External link

  • Hakakeke/Flax - New Zealand Department of Conservation

  Results from FactBites:
 
New Zealand flax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1104 words)
New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax), known as Harakeke by New Zealand Maori for many centuries, was and still is one of the most versatile plants in the world.
Flax roots were boiled and crushed and applied externally as a poultice for boils, tumours and abscesses, as well as to varicose ulcers.
Flax seed oil that can be bought in many countries (aka linseed oil) is extracted from the seeds of the European flax, a plant that belongs to a different plant family.
New Zealand flax - definition of New Zealand flax in Encyclopedia (1059 words)
New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax), known as Harakeke by New Zealand Maori for many centuries, was and still is one of the most versatile plants on earth.
Flax roots were boiled and crushed, and applied externally as a poultice for boils, tumours and abscesses, and to varicose ulcers.
Flax was and still is used in numerous cosmetics such as soaps, shampoos and hand lotions, and flax seed oil is sold in many countries.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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