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Blue-violet Linum usitatissimum flower with dark blue streak rising from its cream color center and aqua blue anthers
Linum usitatissimum
Linum usitatissimum (Flax)

Originating in Europe, the Flax has a history of cultivation dating back to more than 6000 BC, making it one of the oldest crops known to humanity​​. it has spread globally, especially in temperate climates​. The plant has two main ecotypes: one grown for its seeds and the other for its fiber. When cultivated for fiber, flax plants average a height of 3 to 4 feet with slender stalks, while those cultivated for seeds are shorter and more branched​​. The fibers, known for their fine quality, are used to produce linen fabrics. Its seeds, on the other hand, are a vital source of linseed oil, which is not only used in cooking but also in industrial applications​​. In recent years, there's been a surge in flaxseed consumption due to their nutritional and health benefits. Flaxseeds are a rich source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and dietary fibers. They also contain an array of vitamins and minerals, including significant amounts of magnesium​. On the medical front, the seeds have been recognized for their potential health-promoting properties. They possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects. ​.
Flax has been utilized as a phytoremediation tool for remediating soils contaminated with heavy metals​. The enduring utility and adaptability of flax, from ancient civilizations to modern agriculture and industry, mark it as a remarkable species in the plant kingdom. Photographed in Bogotá, Colombia.

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