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Linum (family Linaceae) A genus of herbs that have narrow, linear, sessile leaves, and cymose inflorescences along the stems. The flowers have 5-clawed petals that soon fall and globular 10-valved capsules. Some species are grown for ornament, for the fibres (flax), or for the oil in the seeds (linseed oil). There are some 200 species, mostly in temperate and subtropical parts of the northern hemisphere.