Flax 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 Agasi/Akshi in Kannada, Jawas/Javas or Alashi in Marathi. Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient Ethiopia and ancient Egypt. In a prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia dyed flax fibers have been found that date to 34,000 BC.New Zealand flax is not related to flax, but was named after it as both plants are used to produce fibers.