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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Linum lewisii (Wild blue flax)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Linum lewisii

Linum lewisii Pursh

Wild blue flax, Prairie flax, Lewis flax

Linaceae (Flax Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: LILE3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

Prairie flax grows 18–20 inches tall. It rarely stands straight up, but rather leans at an angle. Flowers are pale blue, with 5 petals about 1–1 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.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Size Notes: 16-20
Leaf: Green
Flower:
Fruit:

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AK , AR , AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , LA , MI , MN , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WV , WY
Canada: AB , MB , SK
Native Habitat: Woodland,Prairie/Meadow/Field

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sand

Benefit

Use Medicinal: Eyewash (Kindscher) Boils, poultice of fresh crushed leaves applied to irritated eyes, wash of tobacco and blue flax to improve hair. (Weiner)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 1207 - Earth Medicine, Earth Food (1990) Michael A. Weiner
Bibref 610 - Edible wild plants of the prairie : an ethnobotanical guide (1987) Kindscher, K.
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.4 - Research Update, Wild-Collecting Endangers Natives, Director's Report, Maryland ...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Linum lewisii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Linum lewisii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Linum lewisii

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-06-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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