Native flax Phormium tenax is another widely grown NZ plant that bees love gathering the pollen and nectar from. Birds love it to, even starlings can be seen with a yellow head after dipping in for the treat. Maori used the strong fibrous leaves of flax to weave into clothing, decorative panels, water proof roofing, utensils, just about everything. It was the only plant that was available for them to use in this cool, temperate land, no big animals for skins, just lots of amazing birds that either didn`t fly or hopped through the trees, having no natural predators until man arrived ! Flax also has many excellent medicinal properties, animals will naturally self-medicate with flax leaves if able to access it.
There are a number of hybrid species, with P.cookianum the mountain flax, smaller then P.tenax planted alot in gardens. Many of our NZ native plants can be found growing all over the world these days, I always smile when I see flax or cabbage trees growing in cold countries, sometimes having to be wrapped up for winter !