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The Flax plant

The flax plant is a good candidate for inclusion in a Martian settlement. On Earth, humans grow it for its seeds, oil, and fiber.

Flax Seed

Flax seeds are high in fats and protein. Most varieties are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Raw flax seed is used as a dietary suppliment, though the ingestion of large amounts can cause sickness due to trace amounts of cyanide. Seeds have a long shelf life when whole.

Linseed Oil

Seeds are crushed to produce linseed oil.


The stalks of the flax plant are processed to release the natural fibers. These fibers are then woven into linen.

Open Issues

  • How easily can flax be grown using hydroponics or aeroponics?
  • What varieties of flax are best suited to a greenhouse?
  • What processing methods remove the small amounts of cyanide in the seeds?
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