Fairy Flax is a
annual plant of the UK, typically found growing in grassland, meadows and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 30cm.
Fairy Flax has a single main stem with widely-spaced pairs of leaves, branching higher up into long thin stems, which sometimes droop over, and teminate with small clusters of flowers.
Botanic classification and naming: Fairy Flax is a member of the Flax (Linaceae) family. The genus name
'Linum' identifies the plant as a Flax and its species name 'catharticum' means 'purgative plant'.
Concerns: Fairy Flax is also known as Purging Flax, as it has purgative properties in small quantities. In larger quantities, the plant is emetic and can cause fatal poisoning.