PALE FLAX

Linum bienne

(Formerly: Linum usitatissimum ssp. angustifolium)
Flax Family [Linaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8azure flower8blue
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

2nd June 2007, corner, Princeslade corner, IoW(??) Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Likes to grow near the sea in dry grassy places. It got the first one right here. And it looks fairly dry here too, but as for grassy, well, there's one small clump at the top. It is a biennial or perennial, sometimes even an annual.


2nd June 2007, corner, Princeslade corner, IoW(??) Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The petals are usually blue, but as we are finding, Flaxes seem to prefer breaking the rules; this specimen is white. There can be several stems, which are either erect or like leaning-over lamposts; growing to 60cm long. Leaves are narrow to elliptic-oblong, but only 0.5 to 1.5mm wide. They have between 1 to 3 veins. The sepals, which you can just about make out just beneath the topmost flower, are 4-6mm long.


2nd June 2007, corner, Princeslade corner, IoW(??) Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Here the petals are white and between 8 to 12mm long with the largest specimens only 1mm longer than the smallest specimens of Perennial Flax (which have petals ranging from 13 - 20mm ). The filaments here are white, but with blue anthers.


2nd June 2007, corner, Princeslade corner, IoW(??) Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The flower has a greeny-yellow centre.


2nd June 2007, corner, Princeslade corner, IoW(??) Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
There are 5 fertile stamens and another 5 shorter white sterile staminodes which lack anthers some of which can only just be made out curving close to the petals near the centre.


2nd June 2007, corner, Princeslade corner, IoW(??) Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Nestled withing the 5-angular sepal teeth is a green fruit - a capsule which grows to between 4 and 6mm, the same size range as the sepals.


Not to be semantically confused with : any Toadflaxes such as Purple Toadflax (Linaria purpurea), Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis), Sand Toadflax (Linaria arenaria), Malling Toadflax (Chaenorhinum origanifolium), Bastard Toadflax (Thesium humifusum) Flax Dodder (Cuscuta epilinum), Flaxfield Rye-grass (Lolium remotum), New-Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax), Toadflax-leaved St. John's-wort (Hypericum linariifolium) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Easily mistaken for : other Flaxes

It is native to the UK and grows in dry grassy places, usually near the sea. It is to be found in the West, South of from North Lincs, in Sounth Lancashire, and Anglesea; County Lough in Ireland; and in the Isle of Man. Anywhere else and it will have been planted.


  Linum bienne  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Linaceae  

Distribution
 family8Flax family8Linaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Linum
Linum
(Flaxes)

PALE FLAX

Linum bienne

(Formerly: Linum usitatissimum ssp. angustifolium)
Flax Family [Linaceae]