Last updated on May 20th, 2023 at 11:03 pm
The flax flower, popularly known as common flax, is far from common. Also known as Linum Usitatissimum or Linseed, it is a member of the Linaceae family.
It appears to have been cultivated from the wild species Linum Bienne or pale flax. It is not simply a pretty flower. The flax flower’s meaning comes from its practicality. From high nutrition to textiles to gorgeous blooms, it is infinitely useful. In Latin, Usitatissimum means ‘most useful.’
With a tall, airy stem and bright, blue blooms, the flax flower grows densely, often reaching a height of 3 ft (91.44 cm). Native to Europe and Asia, this flower thrives in the sun and well-drained, light soil. The best season to cultivate flax is spring and summer.
The oldest evidence of humans using this flower can be traced to the present country of Georgia. Remains of textiles, spun, dyed, and knotted from flax fibers, have been found inside a cavern.
Dating back to 30,000 years ago, the cave had preserved relics from the Upper Paleolithic era. Around 9,000 years ago, the flax flower was first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent region. Slowly the use of this flower spread as far as Switzerland and Germany.
Egypt is another country where flax flowers can be found extensively. The temples had paintings of this flower, and the mummies were embalmed in linen. The flax flower was a symbol of purity for the Egyptians.
There are two types of flax plants, perennial and annual. Although both have a similar oil yield in quantity and quality, annuals release seeds 2-3 times more than perennials. The perennials are grown for ornamental uses in gardens, window boxes, containers, or any sunny area at home. Annuals are mostly cultivated for commercial use to produce flax seed and fiber.
What does the Flax flower symbolize?
Flax flower meaning and symbolism depict the home. The story behind its symbolism dates back to the Victorian age. There is a popular folktale surrounding the flax.
It so happened that once, the Goddess Bertha enticed a poor farmer to a magical cave. The cave was filled with gold and precious stones. Bertha stood in the middle of the room, a beautiful queen with a bouquet of flax flowers in her hand.
She asked the farmer to wish for anything his heart desired. She will grant it to him. Despite being poor, the farmer did not crave jewels or gold. He wished to have the flowers that she was holding. As promised, she gave him a bag of flax seeds and, later, taught his wife to sow them and make cloth yarn from them.
The tale showed that the seeds needed to be spun to make the fabric. Spinning is associated with women and represents life’s domestic setting. The flax flower meaning took root from it. It made a name for itself as a domestic symbol.
There can be found a few other flax flower meanings and symbolism throughout history.
In Ancient Egypt, the flax symbolizes purity. The priests wore only linen. The seeds were also considered crucial to the afterlife. They have been found inside the tombs.
In biblical times, linen was a symbol of purity. Wearing linen was a symbol of righteousness and holiness. Biblical scholars speculated that God saw linen as a fiber untainted by blood. No animal has to be slain to obtain linen.
All in all, the flax flower symbolic meanings are:
Meaning of the Flax flower colors
Blue flax flowers symbolize wisdom, freedom, growth, devotion, commitment, and maturity.
Lavender and pink-leaning flax flower colors can hint at joy, youth, delicateness, beauty, good health, and good luck.
Interesting facts about the Flax flowers
- Every part of the plant is useful, making it a stable and sustainable crop.
- The flax plant is cultivated for its seeds, fiber, and ornamental use.
- The fabric, linen, made from its stem, is naturally antibacterial and helps reduce bacterial and fungal growth.
- The flax seeds are high in fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Having flax seeds regularly may help prevent some forms of cancer.
- The seed of the flax plant is poisonous in its raw form. However, when cooked, it is extremely nutritious.
- The oil extracted from the seeds is one of the oldest known commercial oils.
- The flax seed oil also relieves coughs, colds, sore throats, inflammations, burns, and more.
- Common flax is also used to make eyewash to soothe irritated eyes.
- The oil is known to have a calming and soothing effect on people, helping with depression and anxiety.
- The plant roots are used to make an infusion that strengthens eyesight.
- Vegans or people with egg allergies can use ground flaxseed as an egg substitute.
- Modern food like crackers and oatmeal has ground flax seeds in them.
- The fiber from its stem is also used to make paper, baskets, mats, strings, nets, etc.
- Flax is an emblem of Northern Ireland. It appeared on the reverse of the British one-pound coin to represent Northern Ireland on coins.
- Flax is Belarus’ National Flower. Belarus has folk songs in its honor.
- The bright blue flowers of the flax plant appear on the emblem of Belarus.
- The conditions in Belarus are perfect for flax cultivation. The people there have been growing flax for more than 200 years.
How to grow Flax flowers
Flax plants can grow to be rather tall, and flower stalks can reach heights of over 5 feet; however, they normally stay around 3 feet. Tall and thin stems emerge from the ground, bearing the plant’s leaves and flowers.
- Plant the flax in light, well-drained, sandy, loamy soil.
- Place them in a sheltered, full-sun position to thrive.
- Water the plants as they establish.
- Apply a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks before the seed capsules form.
How to care for Flax flowers
- Maintain generous moisture without drenching or waterlogging.
- Mulch around the plant to help retain soil moisture and to keep the weeds down.
- Prune plants to promote good air circulation.
- Cut the flax down halfway after their initial bloom.
Best time to gift Flax flowers
As flax flower meaning and symbolism represents purity and domestication, they can be given to newlyweds to honor their new home. They can be added to bridal bouquets and wedding decorations.
There is no particular time to give the flax flowers as a gift. They can be gifted on any occasion, adding an azure pop to a bouquet.
Growing densely in gardens and meadows, the flax flowers make a vibrant blue backdrop. The blanket of blue flowers often looks like the sky has descended upon the garden. They can be grown in large drifts to mimic their natural carpet-like growth.
Flax flowers are well-suited in the front of perennial borders, rock gardens, meadows, cottage garden settings, and curbside.
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