Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Plant profile: Linum grandiflorum "Rubrum"

Well this is one flower you can't miss in P. Garden right now! I threw around a packet of seeds Joan gave me in the red bed back in mid-April. I waited and waited, then I gave up and got on with life. Suddenly clumps of feathery foliage came up and I recognized it as my flax before I weeded it out. And here we are in August and wow - check 'em out!

Latin name: Linum grandiflorum "Rubrum"  ("LINE-um grand-ee-FLOR-um ROOB-rum")
Common name: Scarlet Flax, Red Flax
Originally from: North Africa and Southern Europe.
Blooms: RED! And lots of 'em - each flower only lasts a day but there are so many you'd never know it.
Light: Full sun.
Water: Pretty drought tolerant.
Where to find in P. Garden: In the red bed, naturally. Hopefully they self-seed and next year they'll be all over the place.

This is a tough little annual - flax comes in a nice light blue, and yellow too (must get some) - and though I don't favor annuals here due to their short life and extra work, I can make an exception in this case as the results are so stunning.

The flax genus has 200 species, of which the common flax is used to make linen and linseed oil.

UPDATE July 2016: We had a few of these come back in the years following this initial post in 2009, but I think you'd want to chuck seeds out every year for a good display. Totally worth it - they're really easy to grow and make a lovely drift of red.


  1. We're loving the garden... thank you for all the work you've put into it!

  2. Thanks Erik! I'm so glad you enjoy it :)


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