Linum flavum L. - Yellow Flax.

Taxonomic position.

Family Linaceae S.F.Gray, genus Linum L.

Morphology and biology.

Herbaceous perennial 20-60 cm tall. Root spindle-shaped, lignescent, yellowish. There are flower-bearing and short vegetative leafy shoots. Flower-bearing stems are usually erect or rarely ascending at base, branching only in inflorescence, ribbed, sometimes almost winged, densely leafed. Leaves sessile, 2-4.5 cm long, glaucous, leaf margin smooth, ceratoid, translucent at base, 3-veined, at base with 2 dark brown glandules instead of stipules. Lower leaves narrow, obovate, upper ones lanceolate. Flowers aggragated in umbellate or paniculate poorly, leafy cymes. Sepals lanceolate with strongly prominent vein, narrow-membranaceous at margin, ciliate. Petals yellow, obovate, 12-20 mm long, 3-4 times longer than sepals. Fruit is a capsule, broadly ovoid or globose, shorter than calyx, narrowed into a short beak at apex. Seeds small, obliquely ovate, brown, flat, smooth, 1.8-2.2 mm long. Entomophilous. Flowers in June - July, fruits in August.


Europe (southeastern part), Russia (mainly in chernozem zone, rarely northward).


Xeromesophyte. Occurs in steppes, steppified meadows, glades, on stony slopes, in exposed shrubberies, forest fringes, gullies, ravines, on limestones.

Use and economic value.

Sometimes cultivated as ornamental plant.


Gubanov IA., Kiseleva KV., Novikov VS., Tikhomirov VN. 2003. Illustrated Manual of the Middle Russia Plants. V.2. Moscow: KMK. 665 p. (In Russian).
Yuzepchuk SV. 1949. Flax - Linum L. In: Shishkin BK, Bobrov EG, ed. 1949. Flora URSS. V.14. P.86-146. (In Russian).

© I.G.Chukhina

© Photo by M.Hassler:

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