I have New Mexico Yellow Flax, a native that is only in New Mexico, Arizona, and Northern Mexico. I found little information on it, but can rely on general knowledge of flax species.
It likes pine forests at 4500 feet to 9000 feet elevation and part shade. I could not find a good source for whether it is annual/biennial/perennial. Not uncommon for wild species. Given time, I will see what I have.
They are about a foot tall and the blooms open about an hour after dawn and close before full dark. I have more of this variety than of the Wild Blue Flax, which is taller and more delicate. Although thin, the stems are sturdier.
Obviously, this flax is tolerant of calcium carbonate soil and low moisture. If perennial, it is tolerant of low temperatures.
My use of this flower would be for fiber, seed, and oil. I read that Europe’s Linum usitatissimum is the best flax for linen, but I say that my flax grows free to me and that is an enormous benefit. I do not have a European climate. First Americans also bred improved native flax, including my Wild Blue Flax. This one, who knows? I have a lot more of it, for sure.
I can collect and use the seeds for nourishment or essential fatty-acid rich oil. The benefits of flax seed and oil are legion, and Americans are often deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, causing nearly 100,000 deaths a year. Most of the health benefits are related to providing sufficient essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to keep the body systems running efficiently. Food as medicine.
New Mexico Yellow Flax is widespread enough that I can collect seed and fiber this year.
More rocks came downhill this morning. I also dug out about 16 inches of soil at the rabbit gate to allow full opening of the gate. Hillsides do this slow slide over time and it has interfered with gate operation. I added the soil to the uphill side of raised bed 6 melding it into the hillside. Bed 6 will eventually grow another layer of stone, at which point I will fill again and plant perennials in it. Same with raised bed 8. I will fill with deadwood and compost to stabilize the stones, let it settle, and add a layer next year before planting perennials. The pathway widens at this spot to accommodate the gate.
I also worked on the pathway to the southwest gate and its split off to meet the path downhill. My cabin-in-dreaming is losing the gravel pile and improving my homestead. It’s all good. I planted more Calabazilla seeds uphill on the north side this morning. While up there, I saw emerging Prickly Pear fruits. That’s another special oil, one which I will keep frozen for long term storage.
Then I came inside and ordered that Piteba nut and seed oil expeller oil press. I feel gleeful about having oil possibilities show up in my food forest. Oils are a big Market Economy expense in my home: salads, cooking, carrier oils for herbs, hot chili oil, skin care oils, even scented oil for lamps would be nice. That takes the oil press off the list.
So when I substitute this flax for European flax, I realize it is not identical, but close. As always, when I use a new plant, I take care to test small amounts. This is a good idea with any new addition to your diet. Luckily, the number of known edible plants is about 20,000 worldwide. Plants that are known and considered tasty enough to eat. The corporate Market Economy relies on 7 basics and a few side items. It is no wonder that we die of starvation while walking around obese. We are not meant to eat a corporate monoculture diet.
Although I consider New Mexico Yellow Flax a fiber plant for making cloth, it is also a powerhouse nutrition supplement as seed or oil.