Flax, Blue

Planting Rate 3 to 4 PLS lbs/acre
Plant Height 2-3 Ft.
Seed Count 285,000 per lb
Botanical Name Linum lewisii
Life Cycle Perennial
Environment Full Sun
Preferred Sites Upland/Grassland
Bloom Period May-August
Flower Color White
Pollinator Value Good


Linum Perenne (Blue Flax) is introduced from Eurasia and Linum Lewisii (Lewis Flax) is a comparable U.S. native plant. In general, Flax is an annual or short-lived, semi-evergreen perennial forb, sometimes semi-woody at base with attractive flowers ranging from white to blue to yellow to red in color. Common to the Western United States.

USES: Blue and Lewis Flax are noted to have fair forage value for livestock and wildlife during spring and winter. They stay green throughout the growing season providing some forage value. Birds use the seed and capsules in fall and winter. All species provide diversity to the seeded plant community. All Flax species are noted for their value in mixes for erosion control and beautification values. Flax is considered desirable forage for deer, antelope, and birds, either as herbage or seed. They may also provide some cover for selected small bird species.

RANGE & HABITAT: Flax species do best on well-drained soils. Most ecotypes do well on infertile, disturbed soils. They have excellent cold winter and drought tolerance. They will tolerate weakly saline to weakly acidic sites. They are usually found in open areas, but will tolerate semi-shaded conditions.

CULTIVATION: Flax should be seeded with a drill or broadcast at a depth of ¼ inch or less into a firm seedbed. The ideal seeding depth is 1/8 inch. Flax is not recommended for single species seeding. The full seeding rate for these forbs is 4 pounds Pure Live Seed (PLS) per acre or 24 PLS per square foot. Growth of flax begins in early spring and flowers appear in mid May through early July depending on species. Weed control and removal of very competitive species may improve chance of establishment.

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