Introduction: The Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants (INF&MP) is involved in the protection of the genetic resources of flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) and hemp (Cannabis sativa L.). In 1998–2000, the INF&MP conducted research titled “Collection and evaluation of flax and hemp cultivars and ecotypes”. Poland participates in the programme, financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development because our country has signed the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Objective: The objective of the research was the evaluation of the genetic resources of 23 accessions of flax. The characteristics data for flax accessions are presented according to traditional methodology and according to the methodology for developing the International Flax Data Base.
Methods: Field trials were carried out in 1998–2000 in the experimental station in Wojciechów, located in the Opolskie region. The objective was to evaluate the morphological traits, biological features and seed yield of 23 accessions of flax. The research included the following genotypes of Linum usitatissimum L. according to type of use: 12 linseed varieties, three landraces, one accession of unknown type of use, six fibre varieties and one genotype of both types of use.
Results: The total plant length of Linum was short for 12 accessions of flax, medium short (7) and medium (4). The technical length was short (17 accessions), medium short (3) and medium (3). The stem thickness for all accessions was medium, i.e. between 1.2 and 2.0 mm. The panicle length was short (12 accessions), medium (10) and long (1). A number of primary lateral branches of the stems of all flax accessions was medium (4–8 branches). The 1000 seed weight was low for 21 accessions of flax and very low in two genotypes: Currong and UKR 97 104. The size of the corolla (flower) was small (9), medium (12) and large (2) – varieties: Martin and Maxigold. The petal colour of the corolla was blue (11), light blue (8) and white (4) – Crystal, Hella, Kreola, Achay.
Conclusions: Morphological characterisation of the stamen showed that accession K-1390 was segregating because the anther colour was bluish and greish. The highest resistance to lodging was observed for Abby, Peak and Olinette. The following accessions of flax were very resistant to Fusarium: Martin, UKR 97269, Kijewskij and Ukraińskij 3; resistant to Fusarium: Abby, Peak, Olinette, Crystal, Gold Merchant, Currong and Ukraińskij 2. The following varieties were very susceptible to Fusarium: Hella, Kreola, Maxigold and Achay. These varieties should not be used for cross breeding. The best average seed yield in 1998–2000 in Wojciechów was found in the following accessions of flax: Abby (191%), Gold Merchant (162%), Currong (161%), Olinette (151%), PEAK (148%), UKR 97269 (148%), Crystal (138%), Ukraiński 3 (132%), Martin (130%), Pacific (110%) and Ukraiński 2 (103%). These varieties are particularly valuable for flax breeders.