Also known as
Linseed, Common Flax , Vlas, Lynsaad (Afr.)
This plant has no fragrance
More images of Flax
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 Flax
Flax isn't generally bothered by pests and diseases.
How to harvest 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 Flax
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.
You can propagate the annuals, biennials and perennials from seed in autumn and perennials by division in spring or autumn.
Special features of Flax
Pretty blue flowers!
Other uses of Flax
Flax tea can be used to treat constipation, digestive problems, bronchitis, urinary bladder inflammation and a cough.
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.