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Flax

Linum usitatissimum

Linseed, Common flax (Eng.), Vlas, Lynsaad (Afr.)

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One of the first crops we as humans cultivated, flax is an important source of Omega 3 oils and is very slender and erect with attractive blue flowers. It is grown for both its fibre and its seeds. The fibre from its stems is used to make linen cloth, while linseed oil is derived from its seeds. Flax seeds are edible and contain important nutrients - crush or grind them to improve absorption.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Autumn, Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn, Spring

Harvesting

Harvest the soft fibers a month after flowering. Able to grow two crops per year! Harvest the seeds from the pods which grow in place of the flowers, two months after they wilt. Each seedpod holds 4-10 seeds. Seeds are ready for harvest if the seedpod turned brown(dry) and rattles when the plant is shaken.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seed directly in prepared beds in late Spring to Summer or in Autumn before the rainy season start. Don't transplant the seedlings. Keep the soil moist. Germination takes 3-4 weeks.

Special features

Attractive flowers
Pretty blue flowers!

Geography

Origin
North Africa, Egypt
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Flax tea can be used to treat constipation, digestive problems, bronchitis, urinary bladder inflammation and a cough.
Edible
The seeds are edible and can be consumed raw or cooked. often it is crushed or soaked in milk to aid absorption. The seed oil, linseed oil, is a protein source for livestock.
Notes
Culinary

Personality

Family
Linaceae
Flower colour
Blue
Scent
None

Problems

Flax isn't generally bothered by pests and diseases.

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