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Plant Profile: Western Blue Flax (Linum lewisii)

Linum lewisiiThis short-lived long blooming herbaceous perennial is native to western North America where it is found on ridges and dry slopes as well as in mountain meadows and grasslands. It is upright, clump-forming, and has an abundance of blue, lavender, or white flowers from late spring through summer. Each cup-shaped flower is about 1 1/2″ across, has five petals with prominent veining and last for just a day, opening fully only on sunny days. The leaves are blue-green and needle-like giving the whole plant a delicate wispy look. Although it readily reseeds, plants do not transplant well. Suitable for beds and borders as well as wildflower gardens.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Linum lewisii western blue flax flBloom: Lavender, white, or blue flowers are 1 1/2″ across, have five petals and are produced from late spring throughout the summer.

Size: 12-24″ H x 18″ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Lean, medium moist, well-drained; drought tolerant

Care: Cut back half the plant after bloom

Hardiness: Zones 3-8; 8-10 on West coast

Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to stem rot, rust, wilt, anthracnose, damping off, slugs, snails, and aphids.

Propagation: Seed

Companion Plants: California poppy, Mexican feather grass, pink evening primrose.

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