Stems: slender, erect. Leaves: crowded, sessile, oval-linear, acute. Flowers: on long pedicels; sepals oval, obtuse; petals five, large, blue, fugacious.

A slender dainty plant, which bends and bows to every passing breeze, and bears terminal clusters as well as racemes of lovely cerulean flowers.

"Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax," wrote Longfellow, and if you once see the wonderful blue of these blossoms you will well understand the compliment intended, for they are a marvellous colour, and so frail and translucent that they wither at a single touch, while the delicately veined petals fall almost as soon as they develop into the perfect flowers; the stems, on the contrary, though slim, are remarkably tough. A really blue flower is a rarity in the mountains. There are many mauves, heliotropes, violets, purples, and lilacs, but few true blues.

Wild Flax (Linum Lewisii)

Wild Flax (Linum Lewisii)

The word linum comes from the Celtic word lin, mean-ing "thread," and from it also is derived the English word "linen," together with all its variations. The seeds of the Flax contain oil.