Interesting Plant: Blue Flax (Linum lewisii)

Blue Flax (Linum lewisii)

Such pretty blue flowers. I could see these spread throughout a meadow or cottage garden. I don’t have a lot of blue flowers in my garden, as I tend more towards purples, but these would be a nice addition. It would also be great if I could get them to naturalize and seed. I love the ease of growing perennials in the garden. They require so much less care and return the initial effort of planting year after year.

Interesting Plant: Blue Flax (Linum lewisii) 

 Linum lewisii (Linum perenne var. lewisii) (Lewis flaxblue flax or prairie flax) is a perennial plant in the family Linaceae, native to western North America from Alaska south to Baja California, and from the Pacific Coast east to the Mississippi River. It grows on ridges and dry slopes, from sea level in the north up to 3000 m altitude in the south of the species’ range.

It is a slender herbaceous plant growing to 90 cm tall, with spirally arranged narrow lanceolate leaves 1–2 cm long. The flowers are pale blue or lavender to white, 1.5–3 cm diameter, with five petals. — Wikipedia.org


A 2-3 foot perennial with delicate leaves and true blue sky flowers from Mar. to Sept.. Native to middle to high elevations, Alaska to southern California. A good garden flower. Showy, every morning it covers itself with 1″ blue flowers, hundreds per day. The leaves themselves stay at 18″ or so but the flowers arise above making a total arching display 3′ or so high. Use in perennial garden, rock garden, or even in a container. In areas where the snow is on the ground until March to June this plant will flower all summer. I’ve seen it in the snow fields and in dry rocky sunny sites at 6000-8000′. In San Diego it is at about 3000 ft on a rocky south facing slope mixed with Diplacus Clevlandii and Brodiaea. It has done well within sight of the ocean and ok in the desert as long as it gets watering. This is another plant that doesn’t behave as you would think. It survived up in our garden with no water for two seasons in full sun, flowering its little heart out each morning from late March until mid-July. The reason it did not get water is the drought (11″ one year and 5″ the next) did not allow us to use any. In the garden it does need to be trimmed down each winter. – Las Pilitas Nursery

More information on Blue Flax (Linum lewisii):
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Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

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