Linum lewisii. This drought tolerant perennial forms clumps of tall, slender stems with narrow, inconspicuous leaves. The plants are crowned with clusters of lovely, pale blue, cup-shaped flowers. Use Lewis Flax in xeriscaping schemes or in larger containers - it is hardy and durable. Plants grow to around 90cm (36") tall and bloom from mid to late summer. The stems make an interesting and airy touch to flower arrangements. This plant is often used for erosion control and its seed capsules are attractive to wild birds. All flax varieties can become established in the right conditions by spreading their seeds. However, they do not spread by rhizomes and are not considered noxious or weedy.
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.