Golden flax – planting, care and tips

Golden flax (Linum flavum)
Golden flax (Linum flavum) - by H. Zell

The golden flax is a pretty wild shrub for location with poor soils. Here are planting and care tips, so it will also thrive in your garden.

Profile of golden flax:

Scientific name: Linum flavum

Plant family: flax family (Linaceae)

Other names: yellow flax

Sowing time: spring

Planting time: spring to autumn

Flowering period: June to August

Location: sunny

Soil quality: stony to gravelly, calcipholous, moderately nutritious

These information are for temperate climate!

Use in: group planting, planters, natural garden, prairie garden, rock garden, potted garden

Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 4 (-26 °C / -15 °F)

Bee and insect friendly: Yes

Plant characteristics and classification of golden flax

Plant order, origin and occurrence of golden flax

Golden flax or yellow flax (Linum flavum) occurs in Central and Southeastern Europe. It belongs to the flax family (Linaceae). From the blue-blooming flax or linseed (Linum usitatissimum), the small golden flax differs not only in the color of the flowers. Golden flax is kept for its ornamental value. Linseed is also used as a medicinal and useful plant.

Characteristics of golden flax


Golden flax is a small, bushy perennial that grows upright. The wild species reaches heights of 30 to 40 centimeters (12 to 16 in). Like other perennial flax, yellow flax is one of the short-lived perennials that do not get older than four to six years.


Yellow flax hardly forms leaf-rosettes at the base. The flower stem, on the other hand, is leafy up to the top. The lower stem leaves are spatulate. They become more and more lanceolate towards the top. The leaf color is a blue-green against which the yellow flowers stand out nicely.


The funnel-shaped blossoms in a bright golden yellow immediately catch the eye. They stand together in multi-flowered cymes. Linum flavum is a summer bloomer which blooms between June and August.


Yellow flax forms spherical fruits.

Golden flax – cultivation and care


Linum flavum is an inhabitant of sunny grasslands. Therefore, it likes sunny and warm locations. Areas in connection with stones that slowly release their stored heat are ideal.


The soil should be well drained and not too rich in nutrients. If you have heavy soil, make it poor with sand and limestone gravel before planting.

Planting golden flax

The young plants offered in pots can be planted all season, even in bloom. Think carefully about the location: If Linum flavum has grown, it is difficult to transplant.


Golden flax need only to be watered in persistent droughtness.


It is enough to add a little compost every two to three yeras.


Yellow flax is hardy and needs practically no care.


You can cut back a few leaves of Linum flavum after flowering so that it does not waste its energy on seed formation.


Golden flax is sown early in spring. You can sow directly on the spot outdoors or in seed trays. Germination does not always occur regularly. Sowing in seed trays has the advantage that the seeds can be left to stand for longer, possibly even over the winter. Yellow flax germinates better after a cold pulse. If you sow in cell planting trays, the seedlings immediately form a beautiful root ball. You can then more easily transplant them in their actual place.

Diseases and pests

Golden flax is largely free from plant diseases and pests.


Gllden flax is hardy down to -26 °C / -15 °F. You can place some brushwood or foliage in autumn for winter protection and remove this again in spring.

Use in the garden

Golden flax is a lovely species for rock gardens and steppe-like plantings. Socialize it with thyme, oregano and other small-stature plants for rock gardens. It goes well with sunroses, globularia and pasque flowers. On top of the wall it stands nicely together with low Canterbury bells. The golden yellow flowers are visible from afar. This also spices up planters. Yellow flax is particularly suitable for setting colored dots in rock gardens. To do this, plant it in groups or in rows from 15 to 20 plants per square meter (10 sq ft.).

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