Linum lewisii Pursh
Family: Linaceae
Lewis flax,  more...
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Photo ©Al Schneider, swcoloradowildflowers.com  
Wiggins 1964, Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Perennial to 80 cm tall, usually considerably branched from base, with stems faintly striate. Leaves: Linear or narrowly lanceolate-linear, 1-2 cm long, acute, sessile, ascending or erect and usually longer than internodes, glabrous; bracts 5-8 mm long. Flowers: Pedicels slender 0.5-3 cm long, sepals ovate, 5-7 mm long, inner slightly broader than outer, spine tipped; petals blue or rarely white, 1-1.5 cm long, styles distinct. Fruits: Capsules 5-7 mm long, broadly ovoid, acute at apex, with fruiting pedicels that spread horizontally or curve outward; seeds dark brown, 2-2.2 mm wide, 4-4.5 mm long, smooth and shining. Ecology: Found on slopes and in open meadows from 3,500-11,500 ft (1067-3505 m); flowers April-September. Distribution: Throughout N. Amer.,from WA south to CA, east to MN, NE, KS, OK, LA, also in WV ; south to n MEX. Notes: Distinguished by being a rather wiry erect perennial with many long stems from the base; flowers possessing blue, distinct petals; and linear leaves. Similar in appearance to the introduced L. usitatissimum, but is distinguished by being perennial and having more significant branching from the base. There is a single variety: var. lewisii that is present in Arizona, which the Jepson manual suggests is distinguished by having petals 10-15 mm and styles larger than 6 mm. The indication is that this variety is difficult to tease out. Ethnobotany: Used for bruises, as an eye medicine, for headaches, heartburn, as a skin wash, for gas pains, goiter, medicinal tea, and the seeds were added to food as nutrients and for their flavor. Etymology: Linum comes from the Greek name for flax linon, while lewisii is named for Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) the famed American explorer. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015
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Max Licher  
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Liz Makings  
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Photo ©Al Schneider, swcoloradowildflowers.com  
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Shannon Doan  
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Liz Makings  
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Shannon Doan  
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Photo ©Al Schneider, swcoloradowildflowers.com  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Oren Thomas  
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Jillian Cowles  
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David Thornburg  
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Jillian Cowles  
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Kirstin Phillips  
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. Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition  
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Kirstin Phillips  
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Kirstin Phillips  
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Kirstin Phillips