Linum bienne, more commonly known as flax, is a beautiful powder-blue wild flower found in the hedgerows during Spring. It is the most common flax in the Mediterranean area, the cultivated flax of today is linum usitatissimum.
The seeds of the flax contain a slimy substance, beneficial for stopping constipation. The oil, rich in acid, has emollient, sedative, purgative and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used everywhere for its thread-like fibres which are extracted from the bark, and for the oil its seeds contain. Linseed oil is used in the production of oil paints and also for a number of manufacturing requirements. It is thus cultivated in a number of countries (Belgium, Poland, the Baltic states) but no longer on Crete. Linseed is also one of the best forms of animal feed.