Plants for Water Wise Pollinator Gardens: Blue Flax (Linum lewisi, Linum perenne)

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape September 22, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Plant Family

         

 

Blue flax (Linum Lewissi) plants growing in a garden landscape
Photo source: outdoorPDK Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Flax family (Linaceae)
 

Common Names for Lewis Blue Flax

Lewis flax, Blue flax, Prairie flax, Western blue flax


Description

Two species of blue flax are found in North America. Perennial or common blue flax (Lineum perenne)is a perennial flax from Eurasia that has naturalized in parts of North America.  Lewis flax (Lineum Lewisii)  is a native North American perennial found throughout the Great Plains and western U.S. and most of Canada.

  • Both species are short lived perennials that readily reseed
  • They both range from about 18 to 24 inches in height
  • Covered with a profusion of small blue flowers from June through August, depending on cultivar.
  • Tolerates poor dry soils
  • Needs full sun
  • Cold tolerant

This plant is a good choice for the western United States and cold regions of the Mid West and Great Plains states.
 

Attracts

  • Small bees
  • Butterflies
  • Flower flies



 


Additional Resources:

USDA NRCS Plants Database

West

Utah - Lewis Flax

Midwest

Missouri - Flowering Perennials: Characteristics and Culture

Southwest

Texas - Lewis blue flax
Perennial flax



 

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USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.