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The Facts About Flax

    Blue flax is one of the most common flowers found at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the meadows around Keystone in late spring and early summer. Native Americans added seeds from this plant to their food for added flavor.

    Wild flax, often called pale flax, is a cousin of the cultivated flax that has been grown for thousands of years to produce linseed oil and linen fabrics.

    In fact, ancient Egyptians grew a lot of flax. In South Dakota as recently as 50 years ago, the horizon was flecked with blue-tinted flax fields that looked like lakes.

    A wad of pale yellow flax fiber was called a tow. It was fed into a spinning machine and turned into thread. To this day, a blond-haired lad is called a towhead. And of course, flaxseed is considered a health food. People sprinkle it on cereal or bake it into bread, cookies, and muffins.