- any plant of the New Zealand bulbous genus Phormium, with leathery evergreen leaves and red or yellow flowers in panicles
New Latin, from Greek phormos a basket (from a use for the fibres)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Examples from the Web for phormium
It contains a Phormium tenax that I wouldn't lose on any account.Major Vigoureux
A. T. Quiller-Couch
New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax), a kind of marsh hemp, yields a fibre used in making cordage.Commercial Geography
Jacques W. Redway
The slave girls stick unthreshed slips of the Phormium tenax in their skirts, thus giving immoderate fulness to their bodies.The Human Race
The robes of New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax), and especially the feather robes, evince their aptitude and taste.
The more important fibres of this class are manila, sisal, phormium.