Flax in Zone 5?

Has anyone had any success at growing flax in Zone 5?
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wrote:

Most of the flax in North America is grown in Zone 4, so you are fine.
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Really? Where is it grown? Is it a perennial in Zone 4? Is there a certain kind. I saw one plant in a catalog but it was rated Zone 10 which sort of surprised me.
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wrote:

It depends on what you are calling "flax" The commercial oil and fiber flax is Linum usitatissimum There are others: L. flavum, Golden flax, per. from Eur. yellow flowers L. grandiflorum, reddish pink flowers, annual, N. Afr. often in wildflower mix L. narbonense, Mediterranen flax, per. blue flowers L. perenne, per. Blue flowers, Eur/Asia L. lewisii, W. Blue Flax, per. native to W. US. These are mostly pretty hardy. (There are about 200 species of Linum.)
The other"flax" is New Zealand Flax or Phormium tenax.Tall,, about 8 feet, long leaves come from the ground and are strappy. Many cultivars are used in landscaping: green leaves , bronze, reddish.very striking plant. (used by flower arrangers) Tender, zones 9-10, maybe 8.
Emilie NorCal
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wrote:

I'm betting what I saw was the New Zealand Flax. I had no idea there were different kinds. Thanks for the education. I'm off to find that catalogue and check.
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wrote:

Maybe not the same flax. I am talking about the blue flowered grass from which the linen fiber is extracted, and whose seeds are now a health fad. Mostly grown in the Canadian Plains.
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This is fascinating! As I said in the previous post, I had no idea there were such different plants all called "flax". I certainly didn't know what the actual linen fiber flax plant looked like nor that it was grown on the Canadian Plains. Thanks for the info. I'm off to study up.
One thing I did see already is that the flax is on one of the few plants capable of producing a true blue flower. I do so LOVE blue flowers.
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wrote:
in

FW According to Wyman's Garden Book, Linum usitatissimum, is an annual. So if you are going to harvest it for linen, it doesn't matter if it is perennial or hardy in your zone. Blue flax flowers are really lovely, very delicate. I grow L. lewisii here in NorCal. Good luck with your linen tablecloth!! Emilie
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wrote:

I don't think I'll be doing any weaving but I wouldn't mind trying retting some flax just to see how it is done. Do you weave? Have you read the book "WOMAN'S WORK: The First 20,000 Years"? It's fascinating -- even if you aren't a weaver. :)
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wrote:

No I'm not really a weaver, but I have done some funky wallhanging type things for flower shows. Right now I'm trying to finish an embroidery sampler that I started years ago and just relocated! The book sounds interesting; I'll look it up. I am told weaving (fabric) is very relaxing. mle (emilie)
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On 1/29/07 9:43 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@j27g2000cwj.googlegroups.com, "mleblanca"

Hi!
I missed the OP, but I know the Londonderry NH Historical Society has a flax bed. They actually make up a small about of linen thread every year.
And Emilie - welcome back to stitching and I thank whom ever recommended Woman's Work. I'm going to ask the library to find it for me.
C
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If you don't mind used books, check out www.fetchbook.info
That engine will search for the best priced books from lots of available online sources and sometimes it's just as cheap to buy it as to drive and get it. They also list new books, too, but the whole site is run by best price.
If this link works, it will give you the page listing for Women's Work: http://www.fetchbook.info/compare.do?search 93313484
The book utterly fascinated me. I've reread it a few times.
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http://www.nps.gov/archive/colo/Jthanout/FlaxProd.html
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Thanks.
The first book listed on the Bibliography was Women's Work. :)
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On 1/30/07 7:51 AM, in article epnevn$phk$ snipped-for-privacy@blackhelicopter.databasix.com,

Thanks!
C
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Oh, one more tip when you use Fetchbook. When the listings come up, just above the bright blue bar will be a tab that says, "ALL EDITIONS". Check out what's there. Hardcover books are often cheaper than paperbacks in the used book market. ;)
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Thanks Cheryl. I used to do a lot of stitchery when we lived in Ohio! But now back in Calif. the garden work takes precedence. Lots of good and interesting info on Flax from all. ** FW **what about making paper from your flax, or making a combo of flax and papyrus?? Emilie
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I was going to use flax and make some paper money. <- joke! :)
(God, I hope G-men aren't reading this!)
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wrote:

LOL
mle
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wrote:
in

(Not really a grass.)

With those brilliant blue flowers, Linum lewisii is a staple here in Santa Fe (Zone 5). It's a short-lived perennial that often reseeds, so it's good for gardeners who are flexible about design--not so good for those who want a blue plant /right there/ for years and /nowhere else/. Outside the arid West, it would need a spot with good drainage where rain and snow don't collect.
It's often said to do better from seed than transplanted, though that hasn't always been my experience. It often blooms the first year from seed. Try planting it as soon as possible, as it likes the cold. An ad for a nursery here suggested throwing the seeds on top of snow, but I don't know what would keep the birds from eating them.
I like the way the regrowing plants look in late winter and spring, with stems sticking out in all directions, kind of symmetrically.
I've heard the straw makes good mulch. It's rough to the touch-- because of those strong fibers? And of course you should use it only where you don't mind those blue flowers popping up.
-- Jerry Friedman
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