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Wild Blue Flax
Linaceae
Linum lewisii


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb



Linaceae Family

Linum Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Lewis Flax, blue flax, prarie flax, Lewis' blue flax


Location

Range: Native to weatern Noprth America, from Alaska south to Baja California, and from the Pacific Coast east to the Mississippi River

Physical Description
It is a slender herbaceous plant growing to 90 cm tall, with spirally arranged narrow lanceolate leaves 12 cm long. The flowers are pale blue or lavender to white, 1.53 cm diameter, with five petals.

A perennial sub shrub, shrub, forb, tufted plant, with grass-like foliage. There are dozens of bright blue flowers, 1 to 2 inches in diameter, in drooping branches at the tip of each stem, they close in the evening. Individual flowers last only one day. The flowers, funnel-shaped when they open in the morning, flatten as the day progresses and are dropped the following day. They have tiny gray-green leaves.

Prairie flax grows 1820 inches tall. It rarely stands straight up, but rather leans at an angle. Flowers are pale blue, with 5 petals about 11 1/2 inches across, veined in darker blue. Each stem produces several flowers, blooming from the bottom upward. The seeds are produced on the lower flowers while those above continue to bloom. The stem is leafy when the plant is young, gradually losing most of its leaves as it matures. Leaves are narrow and about 3/4 inch long.




Compare Species
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Linaceae
Malpighiales
Malpighi Order
Oxid Clad
Oxid-Faba
Fabidae
Bean-Like Class
Eurosids
Real Rose Class
Rosids
Rosids
Rose-Like Class
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Stems were steeped for stomach disorders and roots steeped for eye medicine. The whole plant was also used to make an eye medicine by mashing and soaking it in cold water. Poultices of the crushed fresh leaves were used to reduce swellings, especially for goiter and for gall trouble. Early settlers made a poultice of the powdered seed, corn meal, and boiling water, mixing this into a paste for infected wounds and mumps
Seeds can be roasted, dried, or ground or used in other cooked foods. Shouldn't be eaten raw.
Lewis flax was an important plant used by Native Americans. The strong fibers from the stem were made into cords and strings and used in baskets, mats, meshes of snowshoes, and in the weaving of fishing nets



Wild Blue Flax
Flowers



Wild Blue Flax
Flowers & buds



Wild Blue Flax
Plant

Comment: Wild Blue Flax, Linum lewisii

Page Posts: 2

Thunder
Thunder
June 04, 2010
We lived in Colorado for 18 months, these grew wild along the side of the road

raspirate
raspirate
June 04, 2010
I got these from a Colorado wild flower packet, and they spread like crazy.

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