Linaceae2017-08-17T16:35:44+00:00

Linaceae: Flax Family

Western Flax – Hesperolinon disjunctum

Blooms:

Apr–July

Plant Height:

10–40 cm

Flower Size:

Very small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Dry slopes on serpentine in the Diablo Range

Notes:

A small, delicate, much-branched plant with many small, pink-veined white flowers borne on short (generally 1–5 mm) pedicels. Petals are 4–6 mm, widely spreading. Filaments and style are exserted.

Narrow-leaved Flax – Linum bienne

Blooms:

Mar–June

Plant Height:

20–100 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Eurasia

Habitat:

Grassy slopes near coast

Notes:

A delicate flower with white to pale blue petals, 6–10 mm long, sometimes found in profusion. The 5 stamens with conspicuous blue anthers meet at the tips. Pedicels are 5–18 mm long.  Leaves are narrow and more or less appressed to the upper part of the stem.

Common Flax – Linum usitatissimum

Blooms:

Apr–May

Plant Height:

20–100 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Eurasia

Habitat:

Garden escape

Notes:

Similar to Narrow-leaved Flax (Linum bienne) but it has darker blue and larger flowers, with petals, 10–15 mm long.  Sepals may be minutely hairy on the margins and the style is elongated, linear to club-shaped. The 5 stamens with conspicuous blue anthers meet at the tips. This could be mistaken for the native Western Blue Flax (Linum lewisii) but this has sepals that are not hairy and a stigma that is head-like rather than elongated.

Red Flowering Flax – Linum grandiflorum

Blooms:

Apr–June

Plant Height:

20–50 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

North Africa

Habitat:

Garden escape

Notes:

The bright red flower is unmistakably a flax (the flower in the first photo is not fully open). It is an occasional garden escape.