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Grooved Flax

Photo by Iralee Barnard

Common Name: Grooved Flax

Scientific Name: Linum sulcatum

Family: Flax

Longevity: Annual

Height: 1 - 2 feet

Bloom Period: June, July


Description: Stems are erect, slender, woody at the base and branched at the top. Leaves are narrow and sharply pointed. Funnel-shaped, five-petaled flowers are yellow and loosely grouped at the tips of the branches.

Comments: “Grooved” refers to the longitudinally-furrowed branches. Petals fall from the flowers with only slight disturbance. A closely related species of Linum is cultivated as a source of linseed oil and fiber to make linen cloth. Grooved Flax is avoided by livestock because of its bitter taste. It has been used medicinally for several ailments including stomach distress, skin problems and as a topical astringent to treat burns and ulcers. Grooved Flax is widely distributed on uplands primarily in the eastern half of Kansas.

Photo by David Welfelt