Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Scarlet Flax, Red Flax, Flowering Flax
Linum grandiflorum

Family: Linaceae
Genus: Linum (LIN-um) (Info)
Species: grandiflorum (gran-dih-FLOR-um) (Info)
Additional cultivar information: (aka Rubrum)

Synonym:Adenolinum grandiflorum
Synonym:Linum coccineum
Synonym:Linum grandiflorum
Synonym:Linum grandiflorum var. rubrum

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

30 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 25 photos.
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9 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive abken On Mar 21, 2011, abken from New Orleans, LA wrote:

Lessez faire gardener that I am, I mixed all the flower seed packets I had and tossed them in the garden without any plan. These were among the first to bloom. Had to look at the empty packets to ID them. A happy surprise. l Love the look. Hope they reseed.

Positive lehua_mc On Jul 13, 2010, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Winner thumbs up celebrate! I tossed these seeds into the garden as a footnote to my larger plans, and then the weather nixed those plans. What came up though in that cold wet spring was the Scarlet Flax, and what has been unbowed now that we are spiking into the high 90's. Color is totally fluorescent, a sort of blue red that knocks my socks off. I would pair this with dark foliage, like a smoke bush or similarly bright 1' high flowers, maybe California poppies. Sowed in mid April, wispy foliage through the spring, flowering in mid July.

Positive disberg On Sep 5, 2009, disberg from New Westminster
Canada wrote:

Hi Everyone.

I live in New Westminster, BC, Canada.

This plant came to me as a gift in a package of wild flower seeds. I just planted it in a balcony rail planter with some of the other seeds in Mid April. It came up in about 3-4 weeks and was in full bloom in June. It gets the southern exposure so full sun.

Actually thinking back, I did transplant them, but I had sorted the seeds and planted 4 of the same seed in 3" pots. I separated the plants when transplanting into the rail balcony planter. I didn't know they prefer sandy soil and they are growing in "Miracle Grow" soil - 18.0.10

They are still blooming and their blossoms became more prevalent as the plant ages. We are in a zone 9/10 depending what book you read, so maybe for those of you doing winter plantings you don't have to???

They are really lovely and should be in every garden.


April 11, 2011

Just an update. Only one of the four plants has survived since my initial report. That is 2 years - so it can be a periennial in the right circumstance. The first winter it died back but returned - the 2nd winter it never died back although we had weather down to the high 20's. It really compliments coreopsis.

Positive woofie On Jun 22, 2009, woofie from Chewelah, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love this plant! The flowers seem almost fluorescent. And they are simply stunning mixed in with larkspur and cosmos. Mine grew fairly tall, about 18", but I've never had to stake them. A couple of posters have mentioned that they don't transplant well. I suppose it depends on how you define "transplant." I start mine in the greenhouse in little 4-packs, then move them into 3" pots before planting in the garden and have never had a problem. I've never tried moving them after they were established, tho.

Positive tcs1366 On Sep 27, 2008, tcs1366 from Leesburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I found these growing in my garden, so they must have come in a 'wild flower mix' that I sort of tossed about in May or June.

Cute little red flowers that brighten the flower bed. Them seem delicate, but i do not need to stake them.

Goes nicely with Bachelor Buttons and Coreopsis.

Seeds easy to gather. Wait until seed pod is completely dry.

Neutral stephanotis On Mar 10, 2007, stephanotis from Queen Creek, AZ (Zone 8b) wrote:

I'm putting a neutral on this so far because I planted 1500 seeds in Fall, according to directions, and only have one tall stalk to show for it. There are a few tiny stragglers too; about 15 or so. The tall stalk is growing at the base of a large bearded iris, and is in mostly shade all day. It does have lots of buds on it, and I'm excited for it to bloom. The stragglers are in full sun, and didn't spring up as tall or as quickly. The one stalk doesn't seem to need any support yet, and it is almost 10" tall. I will post photos as soon as the buds open. I will be experimenting later with planting the remainder of the seeds in different areas to see if I have better luck. Who knows, maybe the rest will sprout as the weather remains warm.

Update: 3/08, I planted more this year, and have had the first few blooms open. I still had trouble with the direct sowed seeds in that not alot of them germinated. I might have better success with pre-starting them indoors. They really are beautiful when open, and I wish each bloom would last longer!

Positive Fleurs On Feb 15, 2007, Fleurs from Columbia, SC wrote:

Scarlet Flax grows easily from winter sowed seeds. I've found the color to be rose-red. Just lovely with old fashioned roses.

Positive htop On Sep 10, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Scarlet flax is a wildflower that is indigenous to North Africa and Southern Europe, but has become naturalized in other desert areas. It can be grown successfully in all regions in the United States in Zones 3 -10 and has escaped cultivation in some areas becoming a naturalized plant. Scarlet flax perfers loose sandy soils; however, it is highly adaptable to other types of soils as well as long as the soil is fast draining. It is drought tolerant and can be grown in full sun or light shade (blooms better in full sun). The cup-shaped, satiny sheened blooms are a brilliant velvety red and the petals are sometimes outlined in black and appear on long stalks. It reseeds itself and is easily started from seed. Plant the seeds in the fall or spring in the desired location. The plants do not transplant well. This wildflower can be used successfully in wildscapes, xeriscapes and rock gardens.

Positive Shelly221 On Jul 19, 2003, Shelly221 from Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Scarlet flax grows great here. No need for support. Grows from 5-8 inches, in full sun, and partial shade.

Positive Crimson On Feb 2, 2003, Crimson from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Floppy stems! Needs support. Flowers last a day, blooms multiple flowers on each stem.... flowers endlessly. Drops petals everywhere, you'll end up with a "carpet" of red petals... but they're pretty! Reeseeds freely, doen't transplant well.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Phoenix, Arizona (3 reports)
Canoga Park, California
Manhattan Beach, California
Sacramento, California
Simi Valley, California
South Yuba City, California
Denver, Colorado
Itasca, Illinois
Mahomet, Illinois
New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)
Berwick, Maine
Blair, Nebraska
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Portland, Oregon
Greeley, Pennsylvania
Lititz, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Chewelah, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Delavan, Wisconsin
Pewaukee, Wisconsin

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