Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Common Flax, Linseed
Linum usitatissimum

Family: Linaceae
Genus: Linum (LIN-um) (Info)
Species: usitatissimum (yoo-si-tat-IS-see-mum) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Light Blue
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

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
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Centaurea On Jan 29, 2009, Centaurea from Almere
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Though very growable for non-aesthetic reasons (fiber, seeds for nutriment or drying oil), it is best grown en masse. Just a few plants clumped together in a new bed of mostly dirt is not a particularly pretty sight. Tall, lanky and rangy. Not a specimen plant. Very nice when massed though, as I have seen in others gardens.
And otherwise, for all those other reasons, wonderful species. I definitely plan to grow more of it.. just lots more, not a little.

Positive WUVIE On May 28, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

For gardening purposes, I just love Flax in mass.

Each year I toss a good handful about the area where
my hollyhocks grow. As the season progresses, the
hollyhocks tend to drop their lower leaves. The flax
fills in foliage where the missing foliage once was, and
it looks very nice.

I love the way flax bows in the wind, with it's pretty blue tips
and tiny blooms.

A delicate but very easy annual.

Neutral Terry On Nov 18, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Although flax seed is sold in most health food stores, and is considered to have many healthful and medicinal quantities, in its raw state it can cause respiratory failure and death when consumed in large quantities. Care should be taken with livestock; they should not be allowed to graze on pastures where it grows in large quantities.


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

Manhattan Beach, California
Salinas, California
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Dover, New Hampshire
Plainfield, New Jersey
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Houston, Texas

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