IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

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Wild Blue Flax has very pretty flowers, although they are rather short-lived. While its stems appear to be slender and fragile, they are actually rather fibrous and tough; their fibers were used for various purposes by Amerindians. In this genus, Linum spp. that are native to Illinois have yellow flowers. Like Wild Blue Flax, they usually prefer sunny dry habitats with barren soil. Another introduced flax with blue flowers, Linum usitatissimum (Cultivated Flax), is an annual that is native to Eurasia or the Middle East. This latter species has been cultivated for its fibers for thousands of years; it is the source of linen cloth. Unlike Wild Blue Flax, the sepals of Cultivated Flax have acutely pointed tips; the inner sepals also have ciliate margins.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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