Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) (binomial name: Linum usitatissimum) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. This is called as Jawas/Javas or Alashi in Marathi. Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient Egypt. New Zealand flax is not related to flax, but was named after it as both plants are used to produce fibers. Flax is an erect annual plant growing to 1.2 m tall, with slender stems. The leaves are glaucous green, slender lanceolate, 20â€“40 mm long and 3 mm broad. The flowers are pure pale blue, 15â€“25 mm diameter, with five petals; they can also be bright red. The fruit is a round, dry capsule 5â€“9 mm diameter, containing several glossy brown seeds shaped like an apple pip, 4â€“7 mm long. In addition to referring to the plant itself, the word "flax" may refer to the unspun fibers of the flax plant.