Thursday, 9 June 2011

Fields of Linseed

A few of the fields around the village are looking very pretty at the moment.  This is linseed and the flowers are a very pale blue. They don't seem to photograph very well and taking pictures in the sun makes them appear white.

The flowers open fully only when the sun is out, at the end of the day the fields turn green again.  The flowers face the sun and follow it through the day.

They look pretty from underneath as the sun shines through the petals

but the blue colour and veining on the petals is seen when they are viewed face on.

Linseed is also known as flax but the varieties grown here are grown for the oil in the seeds and so are more commonly called linseed. Older varieties which were taller (1 - 1.2 metres) and known as flax were grown for their fibre which was processed to produce linen. Flax is no longer grown for fibre in the UK on a commercial scale.

I found a little history of flax growing here and a timeline of flax through history here.

The amount of flax grown for fibre in the UK increased during both World Wars when Britain needed to be more self sufficient, I wonder if as the price of oil rises and transport costs increase, flax will be grown again in Britain for fibre as well as growing linseed for oil.


Heather L. said...

They are so beautiful! Would love to see it in person!

Heather L. said...

THought of you while reading this blog. Have you seen it?

willow said...

Yes, Heather, I have seen this blog and have been enjoying the recent photographs of Shetland. I would love to stay in a lighthouse!

Simply Authentic said...

I can imagine they are beautiful---I'm envisioning whole large fields of those blue flowers, so pretty. What great information you included. :)