(Phormium) with their long, leathery, sword-shaped leaves that are held in fans emerging from fleshy roots, always make a bold statement in the garden and there are many hybrids in a wide array of foliage colours to choose from. They thrive in full sun or dappled shade and can withstand a fair amount of winter cold, although some hybrids can be damaged by frost. A little protection with frost cover can overcome this. This popular plant has an erect habit and stiff, sword-like, dull green or brownish-green leaves. ... 'Platts Black', also called 'Rubra' (red small-leaf flax) grows to only 400mm tall. An ideal contrast plant, it has chocolate-brown leathery leaves.