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 Anyone know what these two plants are? I saw them at Butterfly World yesterday and would love to own them!!


Not sure about them individually.

But can you see any of them on this site ?

This site is pretty cool to and also recommended on the butterfly world website as where to get the seeds from (they also sell them in their own shops if you are going back).


First one is a flax (linum) blue is the most usual colour, but there are pale ones with dark centres, and deep pink/scarlet ones too, and various shades in between

The second is Viper's Bugloss (Echium Vulgare)

both are really attractive to butterflies and pollinating insects.

Hi there everyone - lovely photos - I'm growing the deep red/scarlet flax/linum at the moment but will be on the lookout for seeds of the ones in the photo as they are really pretty.

I grow Phacelia tanacetifolia - don't know if it has a more common name !! - as a green manure keeping some for the garden and must say that the second photo looks like what I have in the garden !! The flowers are more of a lilac colour than the echiums that I'm growing. 

I'm no expert but from experience have found that both echium and phacelia germinate readily and attract bees, butterflies etc so why not give both a go !! 

Thanks MaxiiLS for the website details - another to add to my ever increasing bookmark list !!

Happy gardening !!




The first doesn't look like flax to me but Gilia tricolor.

I could be smug about that but it was only today that I saw it on a gardening blog, I wouldn't have been able to ID it yesterday!




Thanks for the replies. I will certainly try and find the Flax seeds, it really is a very impressive flower.

I don't think the second plant is from the Echium family but the flowers and leaves do look very similar to Phacelia tanacetifolia. I will do a bit more research on this and next time I go to Butterfly World, I will ask someone!  

Hi everyone !!

Annoying isn't it when plants look so much alike !!!

I'm going to take myself up on my own suggestion and try to grow both the blue linum and the Gilia next year as they both look really nice !!! 

Don't ask where I'm going to put them in the garden if they do grow - I tend to think about such issues after the 'potting on' and plant purchasing phases !!!! 


Thanks fotofit and toonia, you are both spot on with identifying the plants, very much appreciate it.


Gracie:  lovely photos of beautiful plants.  I hope you manage to get them.

fotofit:  You've mentioned you are growing Scarlet Flax - Linum.  I've sowed some seeds this year for the first time and am pretty sure it's not going well.  I have seedlings at various stages around the garden but the ones sown earliest are about a foot tall and really spindly and delicate.  The wind and rain has played havock with them and I have few left standing.  How are yours?  I don't know what to expect of them i.e. how they grow on from the spindly stage - or maybe I ought to be doing something to encourage better growth.  Any tips, photos?  I'm suspecting that a windy, wet Scottish garden is the wrong environment for them! 

Hi yarrow2 - will get some photos tomorrow !!

Mine are very spindly but flowers are lovely. Although seed packet advises sowing in open ground where they are to flower I always like to start seeds off in shed/greenhouse - just so as I know what not to 'weed out'.  

I planted seedlings out in clumps a few months ago and some have survived the vagaries of the south-east Lincolnshire weather which has been very wet and windy this year !! All are still what I would describe as spindly but are in flower - I'm not sure but I think that this is charasteristic of the plant !!

More to follow tomorrow !! 


Hi everyone - I have ventured out to the garden in the rain - it hasn't stopped raining yet today !!!

Managed to get a not-so-good photo of the linum but hope it shows how spindly they are - flowers open in the sunshine so will try to get a better photo when it's sunny - I live in hope !!! 

 Well drained humus rich soil and a sunny site I think suits them best. I don't tend to feed annuals so don't know if this would make any difference.

The second photo shows a mushroom container !!!! It's what I sow linum seeds in as they were very 'leggy' last year in ordinary seed trays !!

I also tried pinching out growing tips but plants haven't seemed to get bushy at all !! Seed packet also says best sown in groups - perhaps so that they can support each other or all flop together !!!! 



Thanks toonia for the website link - looks a really interesting and informative site - will be able to get engrossed in it whilst it's raining . Have also found an online retail outlet for Gilia tricolor seeds so am very happy !!! 





I am also pleased to say that I have ordered Gilia tricolor and Phacelia tanacetifolia seeds, the latter is in the post as I write  


Happy to have been of help.

I have grown Gilia in the past  -and linum.  I just scattered the seeds where I wanted them as handling the skinny seedlings is tricky.

Once you have them they will self seed.


fotofit:  big thanks for letting us see the Scarlet Flax.  My mistake was just having 2 or 3 together with my first sowing which are about a foot tall now - no flowers yet. But I sowed half a packet of seeds in with a small wildflower bed so am hoping they will be better supported in amongst a big bunch of things growing at the same time.  The wilds were sowed late so are all only about 4" at the moment.  In Scotland I time things at least 4-6 weeks behind south of the border so will probably only see something worthwhile in about a month or more.  Thanks for that and look forward to seeing a photo of yours on a sunny day.  I've read they're stunning in good sunshine.


Hi everyone - the sun shone today in Lincolnshire for all of 5 minutes so I managed to get a couple of photos of flowers open - most of the plants are now getting quite bedraggled with the rain and winds and the flowers are starting to 'go over'. 


I think the colour is spectacular and next year I'm going to try and sow direct into the ground !!  I may also try some of the blue ones as if their colour is as intense it will look lovely. I'm growing the ones in the photos in amongst taller plants but they can be seen 'through' them !! 

Happy gardening. 

On the subject of scarlet flax i sow them in 24 sections and plant them out as a group with a small green cane as support.  The variety Charmer is absolutely lovely with shades of pink and a lovely apricot .  Try to save some seed from the small seed pods which ripen to small pea size rock hard pods. 

Hi Mark - thanks for that tip - there seem to be so many colours available that we're spoilt for choice - I might look out for a packet of mixed seed for next year !! 

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