Flax flowers, which are a member of the genus Linum, are grown for a variety of reasons. To start, these small, delicate flowers are prized for their stunning blue, golden and white hues. However, two of the most valued reasons for cultivation is their use as a nutritive substance, and as strong, easily manipulated clothing fibers. Originating in India, these flowers are now mostly cultivated in the United States for the commercial sale of Linseed oil. Despite its variety of uses, many people like to grow flax flowers in their garden simply for their attractive appearance. These lovely flowers are tiny, and feathery. They can grow between 12 to 18 inches and come in vivid, appealing colors that go beautifully alongside most other types of flowers.
Common flax flowers are thought to be one of the first domesticated crops. In the Republic of Georgia, dyed fibers made of flax were found in a prehistoric cave; these fibers were dated as far back as 34,000 BC. Flax cloth was also used in ancient Egypt to wrap mummies before they were entombed. The early colonists of the United States began creating flax cloth for home use, and in 1753 these resilient pieces became commercially available to households all over the country. These flowers can also produce seeds that have long been used medicinally. They are best known for their high volume of Omega 3 acids; however, they also contain a whole host of healthy vitamins and minerals including B vitamins 1, 2, 3 and 6, as well as iron and calcium – just to name a few. These seeds are thought to promote a healthy heart and lower cholesterol, fight against cancer and strokes, and help ease digestive problems. For medicinal use, they can be placed in teas and infusions, placed into capsules or used as an oil. However, you can still reap the healthy benefits by using the seeds in food. For ages people have used this as a source of filling, nutritionally rich fiber. This is still done today, but in a larger of variety of ways. For instance, they may be placed in a salad, used to make bread, or eaten with cereal.
Flax flowers would make a great housewarming gift, as these small, beautiful blossoms are considered a symbol of domestic bliss. They are also easy to transplant, and would make a great gift for an avid gardener.