Blue Flax
Linum perenne

Family: Linaceae
Genus: Linum (LIN-um) (Info)
Species: perenne (per-EN-ee) (Info)

Category:

Perennials

Height:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Medium Blue

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

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

,

Cullman, Alabama (2 reports)

Midland City, Alabama

Citrus Heights, California

Jacumba, California

Merced, California

San Jose, California

Stockton, California

Susanville, California

Yucca Valley, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado (3 reports)

Cotopaxi, Colorado

Dacono, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado (2 reports)

Pueblo, Colorado

Winsted, Connecticut

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Tennille, Georgia

Boise, Idaho

Itasca, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Oswego, Illinois

Farmersburg, Indiana

Greenville, Indiana

Des Moines, Iowa

Indianola, Iowa

Brookville, Kansas

Takoma Park, Maryland

Beverly, Massachusetts

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Southborough, Massachusetts

Wellesley, Massachusetts

Adrian, Michigan

Galesburg, Michigan

Lansing, Michigan

Niles, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Aurora, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Ennis, Montana

Lewistown, Montana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Sparks, Nevada

Litchfield, New Hampshire

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Crown Point, New York

Wappingers Falls, New York

Clemmons, North Carolina

Polkton, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Belfield, North Dakota

Fort Jennings, Ohio

Geneva, Ohio

Red Rock, Ontario

Bend, Oregon

Cave Junction, Oregon

Klamath Falls, Oregon

North Plains, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Aberdeen, South Dakota

Sturgis, South Dakota

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Hereford, Texas

Valentine, Texas

Ogden, Utah

Vernal, Utah

Kalama, Washington

Madison, Wisconsin

Mukwonago, Wisconsin

Omro, Wisconsin

Kinnear, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

19
positives
3
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Jul 5, 2014, petsey from Mukwonago, WI wrote:

I love this little plant, almost lost it in one garden when the columbine smothered it, replanted in my lily garden and it is perfect, I was looking for a light looking plant to compliment the heavy stems of the lilies - can't wait to plant more since they are a little slow to reseed. So soft and always new blooms in the morning!

Positive

On May 27, 2013, Doris from Cullman, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

This beautiful blue beauty surprised me last year apparently appearing from one of those "mixed wildflower" packet of seed I picked up on impulse! I was thrilled at the blooms again this year! I hope it will reseed for me and increase in presence!

Positive

On Jun 10, 2012, marketgate from crail
United Kingdom wrote:

Linum Perenne (Blue Flax) is one of the most beautiful flowers one can have in the garden. One difficulty with Blue Flax is that is very hard to propagate via split or transplant. Yet, well worth it to have in one's garden. There is nothing like it. You will never tire of going down to the garden to see it.

Positive

On Aug 1, 2010, muchablige from Vernal, UT wrote:

I first moved to Vernal, Utah 5 years ago and found to my delight that I had small blue flowers that bloomed all summer. I did my research and found them to be Blue Flax. I have collected the seeds and have many more plants to enjoy. Vernal is 5,540 feet in elevation and has very little rain during the Summer and Winters can be quite harsh but these lovely flowers return every Spring.

Positive

On Jun 15, 2010, Max_Bucks from Bozeman, MT wrote:

We have wild blue flax all over our property. Not sure where it came from, but we did not plant it. We live at 6000 ft. above sea level in a semi-arid valley, with about 11 inches of rain a year. Temperatures range from -30 F to +90 F.

This is an extraordinary plant anyway you look at it! The flower petals are an exquisite pale blue. The center of the flower has a little yellow-orange dot. The entire flower assembly rotates hour by hour to face the sun, then all the flowers fall off at sunset. Yes, true! The ground is covered with pale blue confetti. And the next morning, the whole process starts again. It is totally amazing to watch hundreds of these flowers bloom, rotate in unison, and then fall to the ground.

These are hardy, nearly indestructibl... read more

Positive

On May 13, 2010, michbuckeye from Adrian, MI wrote:

I have this plant blooming with the orange siberian wallflower--beautiful! I sowed the seeds last year; it is blooming this year. For an early spring showcase, this has been stunning.

Neutral

On Mar 25, 2010, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted blue flax last spring from seed, and luckily interplanted it with other things! It was slow to come up and absolutely ephemeral once above ground, mere wisps of stems with almost needle like (scale not texture) foliage. I'm looking forward to a perhaps more established show this year. A small field of these blue flowers sounds like a dream to me.

Positive

On May 10, 2009, jeff0452 from Rio Rancho, NM wrote:

We put this in a sunny, rather dry spot. It didn't do much last year when we planted it, but it is already flowering this year. Not something to plant for big foliage, but the flowers are pretty. May need protection against rabbits (we had trouble with this once). Has not self-seeded for us yet, but a friend in our neighborhood reports that it does.

Positive

On Jan 9, 2009, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant has the most lovely ferny foliage that looked great all season, into fall. It did not flower profusely for me, but the flowers were lovely paired with the foliage.

Positive

On Dec 8, 2008, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

when i was 12, my mother bought a bag of raw flax seed to eat. i "stole" some of the seeds, potted them in a cup, and placed a cd on top of them and quickly forgot about it. 3 days later they had germenated, and had actually shoved the cd off of them. weeks later, they had healthy new growth, and were about 3 inches tall. my mom was very surprized:) i planted them outside, where they grew about a foot tall, until a racoon ( which had rabies) dug them up, and killed them :( ... the racoon was shot by a neighbor. we coouldent take any chances, living in the sub urbs, with many small children around.. the flowers were beautiful though

Positive

On May 9, 2008, alvaropstn from Simancas, Valladolid
Spain wrote:

A beautiful flower which comes in the spring year after year. The stems are too weak to resist the wind and rain, so some lower plants should be planted around to sustain them. Next season I will plant some alpine dianthus all around.
When in flower they have an oceanlike look. The afternoon sun wilts the flowers but new ones will grow next day. A real favourite very easy to grow.

Neutral

On Apr 19, 2008, mbhoakct76 from Winsted, CT wrote:

quite a invasive plant, and overseeds onto the lawn very easily. the flowers are nice but kind of on the small side and the foilage kinda resembles a weed.

Positive

On May 16, 2007, krdixon from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

This blue flax has become one of my favorites. It started blooming in early Spring and I love the way the sky-blue flowers shimmer in the breeze. Doesn't seem to be a fussy plant at all.

Positive

On Jun 6, 2006, blackbunny from Provincetown, MA wrote:

One of the loveliest things about this plant is that the blooms, which last a day, shed and leave "blue snow" scattered beneath them. Altho they are perennial, I have lost them in especially cold winters, but they seem to reseed sporadically in my Cape Cod garden. I feel that this is an underrated plant, here, at least, as I haven't seen anyone else growing them locally. A lovely, informal blue flower worth trying.

Positive

On Jun 25, 2005, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant has been growing in my gardens for years, and it tends to be a bit on the invasive side. However, the excess plants are easily pulled up. It reseeds readily.

Positive

On May 16, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant did extremely well for me until this year, when the cats decided that it was one of their favorite napping spots (as in right in the center of the plant). Not bad for a 10-year-old plant, really--I'll try cutting it back to regenerate it.

Positive

On May 16, 2005, VoodooMama from Edmonton
Canada wrote:

We live in a rather dry zone 3 city (Edmonton, Canada) and blue flax grows very well here. It is a delicate, very well behaved plant - not spreading all over the place, but popping up reliably every spring. We have it planted in a west-facing garden which gets quite a bit of sun in the spring, but is shady once the trees around it leaf out in the summer. The flax provides background foilage for early bulbs, like daffodils, then blooms & adds some colour with the rest of the summer flowers.

Positive

On Jan 17, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

Blue flax has lacy, blue-green foliage and sky blue flowers in early summer. It's a drought-tolerant perennial, looking especially nice with ornamental grasses and other wildflowers.

Positive

On Jan 20, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Flax seed and oil is a healthy addition to the diet, and the plant fiber is the raw material in linen cloth.

Flax is a common livestock food as well, although green flax straw may cause nitrate poisoning in cattle and sheep.

Positive

On Jun 13, 2002, Evert from Helsinki
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Very pretty perennial plant with gorgeous sky blue flowers :)

Positive

On May 29, 2002, rms4052 wrote:

Beautiful flowers, good addition to any perennial garden. Blooms first in the late spring and off and on throughout the summer.

Has become one of my favorites

Neutral

On Mar 17, 2001, gardener_mick from Wentworth, SD (Zone 4a) wrote:

Days to germination: 20-25. All-blue, satiny flowers. Cut back after flowering to promote more blooms.