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Flax is an annual or perennial plant of the Flax family. It has long been prized for its beautiful blue flowers, strong, fibrous stems and oil-rich seeds.

Flax: botanical description

Flax is a short, herbaceous plant with a straight, densely branched, cylindrical, light green stem, covered with a thin layer of waxy bloom.
Narrow lanceolate, linear or linear-lanceolate, sessile leaves are arranged in the next order. The only exceptions are the top two leaves, which are oppositely arranged. The color of the leaves is usually green with a slight bluish tinge. They have a rounded base, a solid edge, a sharp tip, and three distinct veins.


During the flowering period, large, five-petal flowers appear on the plant, on long pedicels, collected in rare, apical, umbellate or racemose inflorescences. They have rounded or ovoid, obtuse petals with a solid, crenate or corrugated edge, and narrow lanceolate bracts. The color of the corolla is light blue with characteristic dark blue veins on the petals.

After pollination, fruits appear on the plant - spherical, multi-seeded capsules with ovoid, brown-yellow, smooth, shiny seeds.

The root system is rod-shaped with numerous lateral roots.

Linen: history

The cultivation of flax began in time immemorial. The first mentions of this plant date back to the 3rd millennium BC. In ancient Egypt, a special cloth was woven from this plant, which only high-ranking officials and pharaohs had the right to wear. Scraps of this fabric are often found in Egyptian tombs - bandages were made from it for wrapping mummies.

Flax is also mentioned in the Old Testament as a very valuable oilseed and spinning crop. This plant was also used in Russia - very strong fabrics were made from it, in which it was cool in summer and warm in winter cold.

Flax: features of the name

Unfortunately, the true origin of the generic name "flax" is unknown. However, many scientists are inclined to think that this word has Indian roots and is translated as "canvas". According to another version, the name of the genus comes from the Latin word "line", that is, "line".


Flax: where it grows

The natural range of flax is quite extensive - it occupies quite large areas in Eurasia. In the wild, it is most often found in dry meadows and fields in Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Belarus.

In culture, flax is grown almost everywhere in the entire Northern Hemisphere.