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Linum lewisii var. lewisii (Prairie flax)
Bettinger, Edith

Linum lewisii var. lewisii

Linum lewisii Pursh var. lewisii

Prairie Flax, Blue Flax

Linaceae (Flax Family)

Synonym(s): Adenolinum lewisii, Linum perenne ssp. lewisii, Linum perenne var. lewisii


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

A 1 ft. perennial, Blue Flax can reach 2 1/2 ft. in height. The tufted plant, with slender, leafy stems, bears loose, much-branched clusters of large, delicate, sky-blue flowers which bloom all summer. The flowers, funnel-shaped when they open in the morning, flatten as the day progresses and are dropped the following day leaving a spherical, green seed capsule.

This drought tolerant wildflower is often a component of wildflower mixes. It is a short-lived perennial that provides color for at least two years. It often self-sows.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Flower: Flower 1 inch

Bloom Information

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


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: SK
Native Distribution: AK to CA, e. to ND, w. KS, w. TX & Mex.
Native Habitat: Prairies; open, rocky woods; mesas; dry hillsides; coniferous forests; meadows

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Sandy or rocky soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based, Caliche type
Conditions Comments: This drought tolerant wildflower is often a component of wildflower mixes. It is a short-lived perennial that provides color for at least two years. It often self-sows.


Use Ornamental: Showy, Color, Blooms ornamental, Wildflower meadow, Pocket prairie
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.


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: This species usually propagated by seed as root divisions are generally not successful. Plant seeds in desired location in fall.
Seed Treatment: None required.
Commercially Avail: yes


Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
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
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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