A field of flax
( Linum usitatissimum )
Old English , from fleax Proto-Germanic , from *flahsą Proto-Indo-European *pleḱ- ( “ to plait ” ). Cognate with Old Frisian flax, Old Saxon (Dutch *flahs ), Old High German vlas (German flahs ); the Northern Germanic (and most likely the Gothic too Flachs ) stem is different.
flax ( , countable and uncountable plural )
flaxes A plant of the genus
, especially Linum , which has a single, slender stalk, about a foot and a half high, with blue flowers. Also known as Linum usitatissimum linseed, especially when referring to the seeds. The
fibers of , grown to make Linum usitatissimum linen and related textiles. The flax bush, a plant of the genus , native to New Zealand, with strap-like leaves up to 3 metres long that grow in clumps. Phormium
Usage notes Edit
flaxes is used to indicate multiple species or varieties of flax; otherwise, flax is uncountable.
Derived terms Edit
plant native to New Zealand
— see phormium
Etymology in the Deutsches Wörterbuch of Jakob und Wilhelm Grimm: "however, Old Norse hör ... The Gothic word has not been transmitted, but one might guess harvs"