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  • Please see the Using the Plant Library  page  for some tips on how to make the most of the information here to select species for creating a healthy native plant community suited to the conditions of your site.

Linum lewisii, Wild Blue Flax

Linum lewisii 

Wild Blue Flax

  • Full sun to very light shade
  • Prefers dry, sandy soils but will grow in garden settings
  • 30" tall, 18" wide
  • Summer Blooms
  • Garden and dry meadow settings

A plant that I had assumed was European, then I found out that they are native to the prairies of Turtle Island, and more recently I was quite surprised to find out that VASCAN lists them as a native species to Ontario. So, for those looking for a native blue flower to take the place of the European blue Chicory in our hearts, Perennial Blue Flax is happy to oblige.

These airy plants grow well in garden conditions and dry meadows, tending toward very showy masses of blooms, but a bit of floppiness, in garden settings and a bit more of a restrained showing, although still abundant, and a bit sturdier form, in less rich, drier meadows.

In a garden I would pair them with sturdier species to offer them a bit of support. In a meadow I would pair them with bright yellow coreopsis and orange butterfly weed to create a lovely contrast of colours.

Growing to around 30” tall in the garden and to match surrounding plants in less tended settings, these plants tend to be fairly narrow, unless flopping over as mentioned above.

Blooms appear in late June and last 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the weather and the vigour of the plant. While perennial, they can be a bit short lived so I would suggest leaving seed heads to mature, either so you can gather some seeds to sprinkle in the location that you would like the next generation to appear, or leave the high oil content seeds for wildlife to scatter as they like.

These plants are not pushy and don’t have any tendency to run.

Best in full sun, although I’ve grown them in light shade as well (again, floppy) and average to dry soils.

These plants have been in my garden for a few generations, so I’m afraid that I don’t recall where they first came to me from.

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Species that were not sown / aren't being sown for 2023 are marked with an * 
Species that are native to this continent, but not historically native to Ontario are marked with a ~ 
While it rarely comes up, I do reserve the right to limit plant quantities, mostly to help ensure that as many native plant gardens as possible become a reality