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Linum usitatissimum (Common Flax)

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

Linum usitatissimum, Flax, Common Flax, Lin, Line, Linn, Lint, Linseed Oil Plant, Drought tolerant flowers, Blue flowers
Linum usitatissimum, Flax, Common Flax, Lin, Line, Linn, Lint, Linseed Oil Plant, Drought tolerant flowers, Blue flowers
Linum usitatissimum, Flax, Common Flax, Lin, Line, Linn, Lint, Linseed Oil Plant, Drought tolerant flowers, Blue flowers

Cultivated for thousands 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 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 in your area.
  • Native to Central Asia and Mediterranean Region.

Requirements

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

Linum grandiflorum (Flowering Flax)
Linum flavum ‘Compactum’ (Golden Flax)
Linum narbonense (Blue Flax)
Linum lewisii (Prairie Flax)
Linum perenne (Perennial Flax)
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.
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Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 11
Plant Type Annuals, Herbs
Plant Family Linaceae
Genus Linum
Common names Flax, Linn, Lin, Line, Lint
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 8" - 10"
(20cm - 25cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Linum (Flax) to pick?
Compare Now

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