E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Linum usitatissimum L.
common flax
Linaceae (Flax family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gerry & Wendy Ansell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #70895)

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Distribution of Linum usitatissimum
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems erect, solitary, simple or branched, 30-50 cm tall.
Stem leaves alternate, linear-lanceolate, 3-veined at least 1/2 their length, 1-2.5 cm long.
Inflorescence of saucer-shaped flowers in a terminal loose cluster on stalks 20-25 mm long; petals pale blue, rarely white, 10-14 mm long; sepals tapering to a narrow tip, 5-7 mm long, the innermost wider and minutely hairy on the margins.
Capsules, 10-14 mm long; seeds 3.5-4.5 mm long with a short, blunt beak.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland zone; rare on SE Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the lower mainland; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Linum humile Mill.
Linum usitatissimum var. humile (Mill.) Pers.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References