Alphabetical Plant Listing

Linum usitatissimum (Common Flax)

Flax, Common Flax, Lin, Line, Linn, Lint, Linseed Oil Plant


Cultivated for thousand of years for its fiber and oil, Linum usitatissimum (Common Flax) is a slender, erect, narrow-leafed annual boasting upward-facing, sky-blue flowers in summer. The flowers live for only a day and give way to small, round capsules filled with shiny, flattened seeds. The fiber obtained from its stems is used to make linen cloth, while linseed oil is derived from its seeds. Paint and varnish industries consume about four-fifths of the linseed oil produced. It is also used in enamels, linoleum, oilcloth, and patent leather, and as waterproofing for raincoats, slickers, and tarpaulins. Flax seeds are also edible and contain 20–30% protein. The seed oil is the most concentrated plant source of the omega-3 essential fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Linum also finds its way into remedies for boils, bronchitis, burns, cancer, carbuncles, cold, conjunctivitis, corns, coughs, diarrhea, gonorrhea, gout, inflammation, intoxication, labor, rheumatism, scalds, sclerosis, sores, spasms, swellings, tumor.

  • Grows up to 24-36 in. tall (60-90 cm) and 8-10 in. wide (20-25 cm).
  • Thrives in full sun in fertile, well-drained soils. When the crop begins to ripen, irrigation should be withheld to hasten maturity. If the soil is kept wet, blooming may continue indefinitely.
  • Keep flax weeded so it does not compete against weeds.
  • If you are growing flax for its soft fibers, harvest the stems when the lower two-thirds of the stems have turned yellow and the leaves have fallen from it, about 1 month after the appearance of the first flowers.
  • If you are growing flax for its edible seeds, you will need to wait until about two months after flowering until the seed capsules have turned brown.
  • Flax may be susceptible to fungal issues.
  • Propagate by seed. Sow the seed 15–20 days before the last average killing frost date of your area.
  • Native to Central Asia and Mediterranean Region.

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Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Plant Type Annuals, Herbs
Plant Family Linum - Flax
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 8" – 10" (20cm – 25cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Plant Type Annuals, Herbs
Plant Family Linum - Flax
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 8" – 10" (20cm – 25cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Linum - Flax

Guides with Linum - Flax

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