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8 Different Types of Perennial Flax Flowers

Get to know the different types of Perennial Flax flowers that are popular among gardeners for their vibrant colors and also useful for the plant's health benefits.

Lewis flax blue flowers

Throughout history, flax has been a really important crop for humans. It is a rich resource used to make specialty papers, fiber for cloth, and linseed oil. Flaxseed has also become really popular for its health benefits. They contain omega-3 fatty acids that have been known to improve cardiac health and decrease the aggregation of blood platelets. Omega-3 can also reduce anxiety and depression, improve brain health, fight inflammation, and provide countless other benefits.

There are two main types of flax plants: perennial and annual. They have a similar yield of oil per seed in terms of quantity and quality; however, annuals tend to release seeds 2-3 times more than perennial flowers. Perennials are still planted often for their own set of benefits and use that annual plants may not provide.

Benefits and Uses of Perennial Flax Flowers

Perennial species are cold and hardy species that tend to retain green vegetation until the fall season. They also have an early schedule of re-growth in the spring season. While they are present in gardens or fields, they also lead to high water retention and soil stabilization. This ensures that the soil doesn’t face any harm or erode away. For farmers and mass producers, it is imperative to protect the soil as much as they can for higher yields. This is also a sustainable way to perform mass production and agriculture.

The perennial flax flowers are also an excellent source of nutrition for the livestock, wildlife, and local fauna in the area. They grow well and are perfect for animals to forage on. Even if you are growing them in a small garden, you will see that they merge well with other plants and aren’t an invasive species. The perennials species is also an important pollinator for bees, butterflies, and flower flies. This is an essential element of the ecosystem.

The colors of the perennial flax flowers are also vibrant. This is why they are often used for ornamental purposes in gardens, window boxes, hanging baskets, and more!

Types of Perennial Flax Flowers

There are some main types of perennial flax flowers: Linum Lewisii, Linum Perenne, Linum Narbonense, Linum Flavum, Linum Grandiflorum, and Linum Perenne Alpinum. They are really popular for their health benefits and vibrant colors.

Linum Perenne
Blue Flax

The Linum Perenne is perennial flax which is commonly known as the Blue Flax or Lint. It is a flowering plant which belongs to the family of Linaceae. It is native to European regions like England and the Alps. The Linum Lewisii species of North America is often mistaken for the Blue Flax, but it is spate species of the perennial flax family.

The herbaceous plant can grow up to 60cm in height. It has 1-2.5cm long leaves which are arranged spirally around the stem. The flowers of the plant are great for ornamental use and pale blue in color with yellow centers. Each flower has five petals in total and is 2-2.5cm in diameter.

The seed of the flax plant is toxic when it’s raw, while the cooked seed is perfectly safe for consumption. This is because the uncooked seed contains cyanide. The cooked seed is extremely nutritious and has a very pleasant nutty taste. It is known for its high oil content and is even used as a flavoring in some dishes. The seed is also used to create linseed oil, which is often used in varnishes and paints.

The L. Perenne plant is also used to create an infusion which can help the skin and prevent hair loss. Flaxseed oil is also known to have a calming and soothing effect on people, which can help with depression and anxiety. It can also help with physical ailments like coughs, colds, sore throats, inflammation, burns, and more.

The plant’s stem is used to make a strong fiber, which is used to make paper, mats, baskets, strings, net, and cloth. The stems are harvested during late summer or fall before being cooked with lye to make the fiber. The roots are also used to create an infusion which helps to sharpen eyesight.

There are two main types of Linum Perenne plants: Sapphire and Appar.

Linum Perenne Sapphire
Blue Flax Sapphire

Sapphire Blue Flax is a really popular flax flower due to the long bloom time. It is often used in colder regions because it is extremely cold hardy. The plant is also drought-tolerant. There are plenty of options for growers to re-seed and naturalize the flower in grassy meadows and flower beds at home.

The plant can grow up to a tall height of 12-15 inches and a width of approximately 18 inches. The sky-blue flowers make it a popular wildflower in the United States. It is perfect for USDA hardiness zones of 3-9, meaning that it can be planted pretty much anywhere in America. The plant thrives in full sun but does well with morning sun and afternoon shade combinations as well.

The plant begins to bloom in early to mid-summer and loves sandy or clay soil. It is drought-resistant, which means it doesn’t need a lot of water. It is rabbit and deer resistant as well, and this is an added benefit, as these animals can often harm plants in the Midwest. It is a low maintenance plant and naturalizes easily in rock gardens.

You can plant the Sapphire Blue flax anywhere from late spring to summer or early fall. It prefers infertile, fast-draining soil with full sun for plantation. The soil shouldn’t have clay as well at the beginning.

Some mulch combined with gravel is a great option for the plant. To establish the plant, you must water it regularly. Once established, you can water infrequently but deeply to keep the plant healthy. Re-seeding is important to ensure that it survives for a longer period or can be replaced effectively.

Linum Perenne Appar
Appar Blue Flax

The Linum Perenne Appar is also known commonly as the Appar Blue Flax. It is a variety of dwarf-sized blue flax that has brilliant bright blue flowers. The blooms last for several months all the way from late spring to summer. It thrives in dry conditions and poor soils, making it a really low-maintenance plant.

The true blue color is perfect for gardens and meadows throughout the Western area. It originated from the Black Hills of South Dakota and has been improved via breeding and GMO. Being a strong re-seeder has ensured that it self-seeds and naturalizes in almost any condition. The plant is extremely cold hardy which is why it is even spotted in cold climates like the Rockies and Great Plains.

The plant can survive in Hardiness zones 3-9 in full sun. It is really easy to grow since it doesn’t need much maintenance or specialized care. The plant doesn’t even need deadheading, but growers encourage re-seeding. Linum Perenne Appar can be short-lived (sometimes just 3 years), which is where re-seeding comes in handy.

Linum Lewisii
Prairie Flax flowers

The Prairie flower is a common name for the Linum lewisii (pronounced: LY-num loo-ISS-ee-eye). It was discovered by Meriwether Lewis, whom it was also named after. The perennial plant belongs to the family of Linaceae. It is native to North America and can found from Baja, California to Alaska. It is found in many different habitats such as dry slopes and ridges.

The herbaceous plant is slender and can grow up to 80cm tall. It has narrow lanceolate green leaves which are spirally arranged around the stem. The small green leaves make the brilliant lavender or pale blue to white flowers look great. The plant may begin to lose leaves as it matures. The L. Lewisii flower tends to lean at an angle instead of standing upright.

The flowers sometimes have a darker blue vein running through them and usually have 5 petals that are 1-1.5cm long. The satiny flowers tend to grow on wiry stems and form small rounded seed heads in summer. The flowers on top continue to bloom while the lower flowers produce seeds. Each stem can produce several, making it look like a blanket of beautiful blue flowers. The blooming season for the flowers is from May to September, which means you will be able to see the flowers for several months at a time.

The L. lewisii plant requires full sun and prefers sandy, dry soil rather than moist soil. The plant is highly drought-tolerant, which means you don’t have to water it too frequently.  You can sow the seed in spring or autumn for a good yield of flowers. The plant is pretty easy to maintain since it doesn’t need a lot of specialized care. However, the plant is susceptible to stem rot, wilting, rusting, anthracnose, slugs, aphids, and snails, so you have to keep an eye on the plant.

The common flax is used to make eyewash that many people used to soothe irritated eyes. The wildflower seed is also used to improve the condition of hair and prevent hair loss. The plant is also used for ornamental purposes in gardens and meadows.

Linum Narbonense
Perennial flax flowers

The Linum Narbonense flower is also referred to as the Perennial flax flower. This native plant of Europe has managed to naturalize across America and is often used to produce oil, for ornamental purposes, and health benefits.

The plant can grow up to 1’ foot wide and 1-2.5’ feet in height. One stem can produce a yield of around ten blue flowers at one time. The flower is usually a big, showy flower 2-2.5cm in diameter and has around five petals. The narrow grayish-green leaves are arranged in whorls as opposed to most perennial flax flowers. The plant produces pretty teardrop buds in early summer that open into the flowers.

The Linum Narbonense plant is usually cultivated in gardens, and seeds are started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. You can also plant it outdoors in early spring once the soil is workable. The seeds take around 14-30 days to germinate, which means you can have young seedlings by late spring.

Linum FlavumGolden Flax

Linum Flavum is commonly known as the Golden Flax or Yellow Flax plant. The flowering plant is native to southern and central Europe. The woody perennial plant grows up to 12 inches in height and 8 inches in width. The semi-evergreen dark green-colored leaves look lovely against the terminal cluster of vibrant yellow flowers. The name ‘flavum’ also means ‘pure yellow’ in Latin. Most flowers have five petals.

The plant thrives in full sun when sown in sharply drained soil. It is actually perfect for rock or alpine gardens since it prefers dry soils.

Linum GrandiflorumScarlett flowers

Linum Grandiflorum is a flowering plant commonly known as Scarlett Flax, Crimson Flax or Red Flax flower. The plant is native to Algeria but has been introduced and naturalized in southern Europe, northern Africa, and North America.

The herbaceous plant has waxy, lance-shaped leaves which are 1-2cm long. Each flower has up to five brilliantly red petals that look lovely in just about any garden. They bear light blue colored pollen and have stamens with tipped anthers. Some breeding programs have managed to create salmon-colored varieties such as Rubrum and others like Bright Eyes, that are white flowers with red bands in their center.

Linum AlpinumBlue flax flowers called Alpine

The Alpine Flax flower is a compact, popular Blue Flax flower. It is perfect as a border or edging plant and is often used in rock gardens. It thrives in full sun and forms a bushy mound of small green ferny leaves. They are drought-tolerant flowers and resistant to deer and rabbits.

The tuft of leaves bears plenty of flowers that bloom for weeks. The flower color is a soft blue, which is great for ornament purposes. You can even trim the plants during midsummer so that they can bloom again by late fall. They usually have a short-lived life cycle, but you can have them for a longer time in the garden if you encourage self-seeding.

The soil type should be normal or sandy since the plants don’t like wet soils. The plant can survive in any pH value from alkaline to acidic. They are easy to take care of and don’t require any specialized maintenance steps. They grow to a maximum height of 8-12 inches and a width of 10-12 inches.

Perennial flax plants are really popular for ornamental uses. Perennial flax flowers aren’t usually planted for their oil or fiber output. This is because most cultivators use the annual Linum usitatissimum for flaxseed production and not perennials due to the higher seeding rates. However, if you are planning on installing some vibrant flax flowers in your home, perennials are easy to care for and look great in just about any home. You can plant them in rock gardens, containers, window boxes, hanging baskets, borders, and any other sunny area of your home.




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