A robust annual found on road verges, rubbish tips and waste ground and locally, rather surprisingly, on stone reservoir banks. It is also a moderately frequent bird-seed alien. Lowland.
L. usitatissimum has been cultivated since at least 1240 (Harvey, 1981), and was formerly widely grown for fibre. Since the early 1990s it has been increasingly planted for linseed oil production. It was known from the wild by 1632 (Kent). Escapes from cultivation have become much more common, but are usually transient.
Originated in cultivation; perhaps derived by selection from L. bienne.
PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.