Fairy Flax - Linum catharticum

    Alternative names
    Purging Flax

    Also known as White Flax and as Purging Flax. Slender, low to short hairless plant, generally with a solitary stem. Leaves opposite, oblong to lanceolate and one veined. Flowers white with a yellowish centre, 4 to 6 mm, in lax branched clusters, nodding in bud. Sepals with glandular hairy margins.

    Identification difficulty

    Calcareous grassland, coastal dunes and grassy heaths.

    When to see it

    Late May to September.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 177 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map