Time of bloom: June to August.
Seed-time: July to September.
Range: Ontario to Manitoba, southward to Ohio, Iowa, and South Dakota.
Habitat: Flax and grain fields, clover; waste places.
In Europe this plant is cultivated for the fine oil in its seeds and for mucilage, both of which are similar to the products obtained from flax seed. It was formerly believed that this plant was changed or degenerate flax, like Chess in wheat, and early writers spoke of it as Pseudo Linum, or False Flax. (Fig. 125.)
Stem eighteen inches to three feet tall, erect, slender, smooth, branching near the top. Lower leaves lanceshaped, the base narrowing to a petiole, entire or very slightly toothed, somewhat hairy, especially those that form the rosettes of autumn plants; upper leaves smooth, arrow-shaped, clasping the stem by an auricled base. Flowers yellow, very small, in racemose clusters, the pedicels at first fine and threadlike but lengthening and becoming wiry as the pods mature. The latter are pear-shaped, two-celled silicles and resemble a flax boll, though they are not quite so large; slightly flattened, with a marginal ridge, and tipped with the persistent style which splits with the pod. Seeds brownish yellow, about ten to each pod. In the company of this plant is often found the Small-Fruited False Flax (Camelina microcarpa, Andrz.), smaller and more slender, with pods not much more than half as large but the plant is said to be even more prolific than the commoner weed.
Fig. 125.- False Flax (Ca-melina sativa). X 1/4.
Means of control similar to those given for Hare's-ear and Indian Mustard, the smooth foliage not being susceptible to injury from spray.