Flax - Linum usitatissimum


Low to medium hairless plant. Leaves linear lanceolate 1 to 3 veined, 1.5 to 3 mm wide. Flowers pale blue, borne on solitary stems.

Similar Species

Linum perenne and Linum bienne are rarely recorded in VC55; both have blue flowers.  For other differences see Stace (4th edn.)

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Photograph of whole plant


Various, often as a casual on roadside verges.

When to see it

June to August.

Life History

Annual - It is a casual. It was grown as a crop for linen and linseed. Most plants probably come from crop spillage or from bird seed.

UK Status

Scattered records throughout England, though never numerous or common.

VC55 Status

It is an uncommon casual in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 10 of the 617 tetrads.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map