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Prairie Flax
Linum lewisii
About Prairie Flax (Linum lewisii) Nurseries Show All Photos Lewis flax, blue flax or prairie flax is a perennial flowering plant native to western North America from Alaska south to Baja California, and from the Pacific Coast east to the Mississippi River. It grows on ridges and dry slopes, from sea level in the north up to 3000 meter altitude in the south of the species' range. It is a slender herbaceous plant growing up to 90 centimeters tall, with spirally arranged narrow lance-shaped leaves 1-2 centimeters long. The flowers are pale blue or lavender to white, 1.5-3 centimeters in diameter, with five petals. Grows in a variety of forest and woodland habitats.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.5 - 3 ft (0.46 - 0.9 m)


Growth Rate

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Blue, White, Lavender

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry open ridges, slopes


Elevation ?
17' - 14119'

Annual Precip. ?
6.4" - 123.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.21" - 4.39"

Coldest Month ?
18.1° F - 56.3° F

Hottest Month ?
39.0° F - 82.1° F

Humidity ?
0.08 vpd - 32.59 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or loamy soils. Does not grow well in clay soils.

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -20° F

Companion Plants
Combine with complementary colored annuals or other perennial herbs such as California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum) and Clarkia species

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Linum lewisii var. alpicola,Linum lewisii var. lewisii

Common Names
Lewis Flax, Lewis' Flax, Western Blue Flax

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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