Scientific Name:
Linum usitatissimum L.
Vernacular Name(s):
Common flax; Linen flax; Linseed

Stout annual herb up to 80–(100) cm high. Stems glabrous, usually simple or sometimes somewhat branched at base. Stem lvs always alternate, glabrous, lanceolate to linear, usually obovate or oblong at base of stem, acuminate, 3-nerved, entire, (5)–10–40 mm long; lvs subtending infl.-branches single, similar to stem lvs but usually somewhat smaller. Infl. of few to numerous fls in a diffuse compound dichasium or corymb; sepals elliptic to suborbicular, acuminate, (5)–6–10 mm long, < capsule, with glabrous entire margins; petals white or pale to dark blue, 2–3× as long as sepals, (10)–12–18–(20) mm long; styles united for c. ⅓ length. Capsule glabrous, subglobose, indehiscent or subdehiscent, (6)–8–10–(12) mm diam.; seeds elliptic and narrowed to base, shiny light to dark brown, 4–5 mm long.

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


Flowering: Oct.–Apr.