CERTIFIED ORGANIC! Linum usitatissimum. AKA Blue Flax and Cultivated Flax. The species name usitatissimum means "most useful," and indeed Common Flax has numerous uses. This is the flax that produces edible flax seeds, which pressed can produce linseed oil. The fibres of the plant's stems can be processed to produce the cloth known as linen. In the garden, Common Flax is a useful lure for beneficial insects and pollinators, and it's also just an eye-catching, attractive wildflower. The plants grow to 1.2m (4') tall, with long, slender stems. They are easy to grow from direct sowing. This particular flax is an annual plant that should be sown in early spring, when a chance of frost is still possible. Successive plantings every two weeks will ensure a much longer bloom period.
The Linum species we offer are annual flowering flax. They are beautiful and easy and suitable for large containers. Linum grandiflorum is native to Algeria. Linum usitatissimum is thought to be native to central Asia.
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun
Direct sow after last frost date. Sow more seeds every two to three weeks for successive blooming. If you need to start seeds indoors, use peat pots and harden off seedlings carefully to avoid transplant shock.
Sow seeds by barely covering them to a depth of 5mm (1/8″). Seeds germinate in 20 to 25 days. Thin seedlings to 15cm (6″) apart.
Cut back about half of the flowering stems in early summer to extend the blooming period. Grow in any well-drained soil with a pH range of 5.0 to 7.0 and avoid fertilizer and manure. Rich soil reduces blooming. Linum dislikes root disturbance, so it is not suitable for transplanting – it’s better to simply sow more seeds.
Linum grandiflorum is harmful if eaten, but the seeds of L. usitatissimum can be quite nutritious.