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FutureStarrA Yellow Flax
Loose, upright branching cluster of stalked flowers on the upper stem. Flowers are 1/3 to ½ inch across, bright to pale yellow, with 5 spreading, oval to oblong petals. The 5 yellow stamens and 5-parted style are tightly clustered together in a tuft in the center. The 5 narrowly lance shaped sepals have 3 prominent winged veins on outer surface and sharp gland-tipped teeth around the edges. Flower stalks are about 1/8 inch or less with 1 or 2 small, leaf-like bracts. Leaves near the base are opposite, short and lance-elliptic, these withered by flowering time. Leaves above are alternate, stalkless, lance-linear, 2/3 to 1 inch long, less than 1/8 inch wide, 3-nerved, becoming smaller as they ascend the stem. On the flowering branches leaves are small and bract-like, often with a glandular teeth or hairs around the edge. At the base of the leaf is a pair of tiny brown to black glands. Stems are typically single from the base, erect with multiple, ascending branches towards the top, round in cross section but with prominent wings or angles.
There are two native yellow flax species in Minnesota, both inhabitants of dry, sandy prairie and can be encountered in close association but are easy to distinguish from each other. Grooved Yellow Flax has smaller flowers, ½ inch or less, deep yellow with oval-oblong petals, the stamens and styles tightly clustered in the center. Stiffstem Flax (Linum rigidum) flowers are much larger, ¾ to 1 inch across, its five petals are broadly oval to wedge shaped, broadest towards the tip, the central style and 5 spreading yellow stamens are openly exposed, and lacks the pair of glands at the leaf base. Like many dry prairie species, the yellow flaxes are best observed in the morning, both tending to shed their petals before the heat of the noon-day sun, after which time they can be very difficult to spot amongst the prairie grasses. Linum flavum 'Compactum' (Golden Flax) is a dwarf, semi-evergreen perennial forming a low mound of small, oval bluish-green leaves covered with bright yellow flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), over a long season. Blooming in spring and summer, the blossoms are carried in many-branched clusters. Up to 50 flowers may be carried in a single inflorescence. The grassy leaves remain fresh looking throughout the season, adding delicate texture to the garden. Drought tolerant, Golden Flax is well suited to rock gardens, border fronts or containers.
It is also found in Western Ghats. Flowering: November-May. Description: This annual herbaceous plant is ï¿½–2' tall. It is usually unbranched below, becoming branched above, especially where the inflorescence occurs. The central stem and any lateral stems are light to medium green, terete, shallowly furrowed, and minutely hairy along the narrow ridges between the furrows. Toward the bottom of the central stem there are usually pairs of opposite leaves, while the central stem and any lateral stems have alternate leaves above. Relative to the orientation of the central stem and any lateral stems, the blades of these leaves are ascending to erect. In addition, the leaves are ï¿½–1" (6-25 mm.) long and 1-3 mm. (equal to or less than 1/8" across) wide; they are linear or linear-oblong in shape, toothless along their margins, and sessile. At the base of most leaves, there is a pair of glands that resemble a pair of tiny brown dots. The upper and lower surfaces of the leaves are light to medium green and hairless; sometimes they are also glaucous, especially on their lower surface. The central stem and any lateral stems terminate in panicles of flowers with ascending primary and secondary branches. These branches are similar to the stems, except they are sometimes more angular. The pedicels of the flowers are 1-5 mm. long and similar to the branches of the inflorescence, except they are shorter and more slender. Where the branches and pedicels diverge, there are often scale-like bracts up to 5 mm. long that are green and lanceolate in shape with hair-like teeth along their margins. (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)