May. 20, 2019

common flax, Linum usitatissimum

What do sleeping beauty and mummies share? There is a common thread there. The original sleeping beauty pricked her finger on a flax splinter. Mummies were wrapped in linen. Flax fiber, made into linen, has been used for at least 30,000 years. The seeds are eaten or produce linseed oil. Remember that oil from paint-by-numbers kits? Common flax evolved while in cultivation, thousands of years ago, because of human selection. It is derived from an earlier species. Those cultivated plants have now spread to the wild around the world, including all states and proivinces except AK, HI, NV, UT, LB, NU, and YT. Beal Gardens, MSU, 7/26/14.