Scientific Name:
Linum catharticum L.
Vernacular Name(s):
Fairy flax; Purging flax

Slender biennial herb up to 30–(35) cm high. Stems glabrous, simple to much-branched at base. Stem lvs always opposite, glabrous, oblong to narrowly elliptic-obovate, usually obovate at base of stem, obtuse to acute, 1-veined, entire, (3)–5–12–(15) mm long; lvs subtending infl.-branches single or paired, similar to stem lvs but shorter, narrower and sometimes acuminate. Infl. of few to numerous fls in a diffuse compound dichasium; sepals elliptic, acuminate, glandular, ciliate, 2–3 mm long, slightly < or ± = to capsule; petals white, about 2× as long as sepals, 3.5–5 mm long; styles free to base. Capsule glabrous, globose, dehiscent, 2–3 mm diam.; seeds boat-shaped, shiny light brown, c. 1 mm long.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Oct.–Apr.