Flax (plant)

Flax (plant)

About Flax (plant)

Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient Ethiopia and ancient Egypt. A discovery reported in 2009 of spun, dyed, and knotted wild flax fibers in a prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia shows that the plant was already in use by humans at the surprisingly early date of 30,000 B.C. New Zealand flax is not related to flax but was named after it, as both plants are used to produce fibers. Flax is an erect annual plant growing to 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) tall, with slender stems. The leaves are glaucous green, slender lanceolate, 2040 mm long and 3 mm broad. The flowers are pure pale blue, 1525 mm diameter, with five petals; they can also be bright red.