Flax - Blue Lewisii, Perennial

Avg seeds/pkt 250

Perennial Blue flax is wonderful for meadows, drought-prone areas, and for erosion control: it thrives in poor, dry soils. The wiry stems of flax supply the fiber used to make linen, and the seeds are pressed to make flaxseed oil (high in omega-3 fatty acids) and the linseed oil used in wood finishes. This is really quite a plant.

Sow seeds in early Spring in a sunny location. Loosen and rake the soil and evenly scatter seeds, about 1/2 tablespoon per square yard. Cover the seeds with a very fine layer of soil and gently water with a mist or shower so as not to wash them away. I like to lay a fine “netting” of loose straw over the seedbed to help retain moisture for germination, which happens within 10 days.

Once seedlings emerge, watering is not required but can be helpful on occasion. Thin to 12 inches apart. Flax is a short lived perennial, but it reseeds so easily you may not notice any gaps. Blooms are most abundant in its second season.

Flax will blossom about 70 days after planting, growing in 1 to 2 foot upright clumps of feathery foliage, topped by 1 inch clear-blue cupped blooms. On dark days flowers will close, and re-open when skies are bright.

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