Gardeners grow New Zealand flax (Phorium tenex) as a large and often colorful, spiky plant that makes an arresting focal point in the garden or in containers. It has sword-like leaves that shoot up from the base of the plant. New cultivars and hybrids are now available with leaves in bright shades of yellow, pink, red and bronze.These blade-leafed, evergreen perennials are often used as specimen plants. Some are small enough to use in containers, others can reach several feet in diameter and grow to over 7 feet tall. On mature plants, the flower stalks shoot up above the leaves and produce curving, tubular red or yellow blossoms that are very high in nectar and a hummingbird favorite. Seed pods form after the flowers bloom. The seed pods are attractive in their own right, but you should deadhead them if self-seeding is not desired.