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A picture of a Common Flax

Common Flax

Linum usitatissimum

Also known as

Linseed, Flax, Cultivated Flax

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy

6a

USDA zone

-23°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1m

Max

20cm

50cm

Min

10cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Common Flax

A photo of Common Flax
A photo of Common Flax

Common Flax Overview

One of the first crops we as humans cultivated, flax is an important source of Omega 3 oils and is very slender and erect with attractive blue flowers. It is grown for both its fibre and its seeds. The fibre from its stems is used to make linen cloth, while linseed oil is derived from its seeds. Flax seeds are edible and contain important nutrients - crush or grind them to improve absorption.

Common problems with Common Flax

Flax isn't generally bothered by pests and diseases.

How to harvest Common Flax

Harvest the soft fibers a month after flowering. Able to grow two crops per year! Harvest the seeds from the pods which grow in place of the flowers, two months after they wilt. Each seedpod holds 4-10 seeds. Seeds are ready for harvest if the seedpod turned brown(dry) and rattles when the plant is shaken.

How to propagate Common Flax

Seed

Sow seed directly in prepared beds in late Spring to Summer or in Autumn before the rainy season start. Don't transplant the seedlings. Keep the soil moist. Germination takes 3-4 weeks.

Division

You can propagate the annuals, biennials and perennials from seed in autumn and perennials by division in spring or autumn.

Special features of Common Flax

Attractive flowers

Pretty blue flowers!

Other uses of Common Flax

Culinary

Medicinal

Flax tea can be used to treat constipation, digestive problems, bronchitis, urinary bladder inflammation and a cough.

Edible

The seeds are edible and can be consumed raw or cooked. often it is crushed or soaked in milk to aid absorption. The seed oil, linseed oil, is a protein source for livestock.