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L. perenne flowers up-close in 2002.

L. perenne growth habit in 2002 was upright and strong.

L. perenne growth was disappointing in 2003.

L. perenne ssp. alpinum flowers in 2002.

L. perenne ssp. alpinum growth habit in 2002.

L. perenne ssp. alpinum did not perform as well in 2003.

L. perenne 'Saphyr' growth habit in 2002.

L. perenne 'Saphyr' flowers in 2002.

Perennial Flax
Linum perenne


Thin, arching stems bear fine, narrow blue-green leaves. Foliage is inconsequential; cornflower blue flowers about an inch wide burst forth in airy panicles, making this a lovely plant for less-formal gardens. Flowers bloom for four to six weeks, then again in late summer.

Plant Type: perennial

Plant Form or Habit: rounded/mounded

Plant Use: In beds and borders. Plant in groups.

stem cuttings
Light Requirement: full sun

Flower Color:
light blue
dark blue
Bloom Period:
late spring
early summer
late summer
Height: Minimum: 16 inches      Maximum: 28 inches

Width: Minimum: 12 inches     Maximum: 28 inches

Foliage Texture: fine

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4

Water Requirements: average

Additional Comments: Requires well-drained soil. The more compact L. perenne ssp. alpinum (Alpine flax) grows 8 to 12 inches tall but does not bear as many flowers. L. perenne 'Saphyr' grew about as tall as the species (28 inches) but flowers are a richer blue. All three (species, ssp. alpinum, and 'Saphyr' bloomed a second time in September. None grew as well in 2003 as it did in '02. Once used in linen and rope production, L. perenne is more popular now as a garden plant. The annual L. usitatissimum now is utilized mostly for fiber and oil. Short-lived, but reseeds liberally.

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