Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Linum usitatissimum L., Sp. Pl. 277. 1753; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 410. 1874. L. trinervium Roth, Nov. Pl. Sp. 187. 1821.

Beng.: Tisi; Guj.: & Hindi: Alsi; Kan.: Agasi; Or.: Peso; Tam.: Alivirai; Tel.: Avisi; Eng.: Flax or linseed;

Annual herbs, 60 - 120 cm high; stems terete, erect, branched above; branches ascending towards apex. Leaves subsessile, 1 - 4 cm long, linear to linear-lanceolate, attenuate at both ends, glabrous, 3-nerved. Flowers ca 2 - 3 cm in diam., in axillary cymes. Sepals 6 - 10 mm long, ovate to elliptic, acuminate, prominently 3-nerved. Petals blue or purple, raiely white, 10 - 20 mm long, obovate or broadly rounded. Stamens 5, ca 10 mm long connate at base. Ovary ovoid; styles free; stigmas linear-clavate, often cohering· Capsules globose, scarcely exceeding sepals, mucronate.

Fl. & Fr. Jan. - Aug.

Distrib. Cultivated throughout India up to 2000 m in the Himalayas. Sometimes found as an escape.

Not known in wild, origin uncertain, widely cultivated in Europe and Asia.

Notes. The well known flax plant, grown in India for the oil from seed Linseed oil and also for fibre (flax) elsewhere.

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