Unfussy and dramatic, New Zealand flax is grown mostly for its large, sword-shaped leaves, which are often streaked with cream, bronze, purple or rose against a green background. Stalks with red flowers shoot up to 12 feet high in summer. Container-size plants are smaller and usually don't bloom.
Grows 1-6 feet tall and 1-3 feet wide, depending on variety. Prefers full sun to part shade; little to regular water. Perennial in zones 9-11, but will usually regrow from roots if it dies back in zones 7 and 8