Common Flax was cultivated at Monticello by 1779, when Jefferson recorded the occurrence of late severe frosts in April that killed “all the flax.” Flax was considered a staple commodity for the manufacture of “necessary articles of clothing;” it was grown in the farm fields and spun into linen in the Textile Workshop on Monticello’s Mulberry Row. This annual flax bears lovely sky-blue flowers in summer, is an important fiber and oil source, and has a multitude of medicinal and culinary uses.
Native Distribution: Europe, Asia
Direct sow seeds in cool, well-prepared garden soil in full sun in early spring. Sow the seed closer together if growing for fiber to limit branching and suppress weed growth, or space further apart if growing for seed or ornamental purposes. Approximately 100 Common Flax seeds per packet.
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