Fairy Flax

Linum catharticum

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Fairy Flax


Fairy Flax is a delicate annual of mostly dry grasslands, particularly those on chalky soils. Its small white flowers bloom on the end of wiry stems from May to September.

How to identify

Fairy Flax has long, slender, branched stems with opposite pairs of narrow leaves. Its small white flowers have five petals and appear at the ends of the stems; they droop when they are in bud.

Where to find it

Found across the UK, but common in the south of England.


When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Areas of rare and unique wildlife, chalk grasslands have been likened to rainforest for the diversity of species they hold. But they are being lost at an alarming rate due to changes in land use causing the decline of grazing: it's estimated that we've lost 80% of our chalk grassland over the last 60 years. The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland nature reserves for the benefit of the rare wildlife they hold. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from scrub-cutting to stockwatching.

Species information

Common name
Fairy Flax
Latin name
Linum catharticum
Height: up to 30cm
Conservation status