The key difference between Cordyline and Phormium is that Cordyline is a genus of 15 plant species in the family of Asparagaceae while Phromium is a genus of 2 plant species in the family of Asphodelaceae.
Cordyline and Phormium are two plant genera that consist of fantastic architectural plants. Architectural plants are plants having distinctive shape and strong structure. They can add a dramatic look to gardens. These plants also have ornamental and evergreen leaves. Moreover, architectural plants normally create focal points in the garden, such as sculptures. Their colours, sharp textures, different sizes can create lots of contrasts in gardens.
What is Cordyline?
Cordylinen is a genus of 15 plant species in the family Asparagaceae. This genus contains woody monocotyledonous flowering plants. This genus belongs to the subfamily lomandroideae. However, this subfamily has been previously treated as a separate family (laxmanniaceae). Some authors have placed this genus under subfamily agavoideae. The plants of genus Cordyline are native to the Western Pacific Ocean region of New Zealand, Eastern Australia, Southeastern Asia, and Polynesia. But, one species is also found in Southeastern South America. The word Cordyline is derived from the Greek word kordyle, meaning “club”. This name was suggested to this genus because its plants have enlarged underground stems or rhizomes.
The members of this group are often grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Among these members, Cordyline austalis and Cordyline fruticose are notably popular as ornamental plants. Some species have been used as food and medicine. Furthermore, their rhizomes were roasted in an earth oven by the Maori population to extract sugar. In cultural aspects in the highland of Papua New Guinea, the leaves of Cordyline and other plants are tied to sticks to mark taboo areas. In these areas, pandanus language must be spoken during karuka species harvest.
What is Phormium?
Phromium is a genus of two plant species in the family Asphodelaceae. One species is endemic to New Zealand, and the other species is native to New Zealand and Norfolk Island. The two species of this genus are popularly known as “flax” in New Zealand. In Maori, they are known as “wharariki” and “harakeke” respectively. Phromium genus has herbaceous perennial monocot plants. Phormium plants have sword-shaped leaves that grow up to 3 metres long and 125 millimetres wide. Moreover, the leaves of these plants usually are dark green and sometimes have coloured edges and central ribs. Cultivated Phormium varieties also have varying colors ranging from light green to pink to deep russet bronze. In November, these plants also produce clumps of curving tube-like flowers.
The members of this genus are found mainly in swamps or low-lying areas. But they can grow in a variety of habitats. Phromium normally produces leaf fibres that play an important role in the culture, history, and economy of New Zealand. They can be used to obtain economic fibres. Furthermore, the members of the genus can also be grown as ornamental plants.
What are the Similarities Between Cordyline and Phormium?
- Cordyline and Phormium are two plant genera containing fantastic architectural plants.
- They are monocots.
- Both genera have structural plants that normally grow in gardens.
- The plants of both genera can be grown as ornamental plants.
- Moreover, the plants of both genera are found in New Zealand.
- The plants of both genera are widely included in several cultural aspects.
What is the Difference Between Cordyline and Phormium?
Cordyline is a genus of 15 plant species in the family Asparagaceae, while Phromium is a genus of 2 plant species in the family Asphodelaceae. This is the key difference between Cordyline and Phormium. Furthermore, the plants of Cordyline genus can grow up to 5 m in height, while the plants of Phormium genus can grow up to 2-3 m in height.
The below infographic lists the differences between Cordyline and Phormium in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Cordyline vs Phormium
Architectural plants are spiky plants or plants with defined lines. They also have a naturally upright habit and can add a dramatic look to gardens. Cordyline and Phormium are two plant genera of architectural plants. Cordyline is a genus of 15 plant species belong to the family Asparagaceae, while Phromium is a genus of 2 plant species belong to the family Asphodelaceae. Thus, this is the key difference between Cordyline and Phormium.
1. “What Type of Plants Are Termed as ‘Architectural’?” Architectural Plants | Architectural Plants UK, .
BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.
2. “How to Grow Phormium.” BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, 11 Mar. 2021.
1. “Cordyline fruticosa Rubra” By Mokkie – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Phormium colensoi (Phormium cookianum) – Savill Garden – Windsor Great Park, England – DSC06006” By Daderot – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia