flax (n.) Look up flax at Dictionary.com
Old English fleax "flax plant; cloth made with flax, linen," from Proto-Germanic *flakhsan (cognates: Old Frisian flax, Middle Dutch and Dutch vlas, Old Saxon flas, Old High German flahs, German Flachs), probably from Proto-Germanic base *fleh- "to plait," corresponding to PIE *plek- "to weave, to plait" (see ply (v.1)). But some connect it with PIE *pleik- (see flay) from the notion of "stripping" fiber to prepare it.