Also known as
Blue-Bottle, Bachelor's Buttons, Barbeau, Blaver, Blawort, Blue Blaw, Blue Bonnets, Blue Bow, Blue Poppy, Blue Sailors, Blue Tops, Bluets, Break-Your-Spectacles, Brushes, Bunk, Corn Binks, Cornbottle, Corn Centaury, French Pink, Happy Skies, Haw Dods, Hurtsickle, Ragged Robin, Ragged Sailor, Witches' Bells, Corn-Pinks, Thimbles, Witch's-Bells, Blue bottle, Blue cornflower
Centaurea cyanus 20060624120252wp by Albert H. (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
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Centaurea cyanus is an upright, clump-forming annual with slightly lobed leaves and solitary deep blue flowers that are 3-4cm across, that appear in late spring and summer. They are found as wildflowers (traditionally in cornfields) across northern temperate regions and are a good choice for new gardeners as they are easy to grow. They make great cut flowers and the more they are picked, the more flowers will be produced! They like a sunny position and well-drained soil. As well as flower borders and beds and wildlife gardens, cornflowers can be grown as patio and container plants - and they are often seen in coastal locations. Centaurea cyanus - also known most commonly as the cornflower - is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative that showcases plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/or pollen. A great choice for encouraging wildlife into your garden!
Common problems with Cornflower
How to propagate Cornflower
Sow seeds end of summer about 6 - 8 mm deep. Germination time about 7 - 14 days.
Special features of Cornflower
Leave seedheads of the last flowers for bird food.
Other uses of Cornflower
The petals can be used as a bitter tonic to aid digestion and the leaves as a rinse for scalp eczema.
Fresh flowers can be used in salads or as a garnish. An edible blue dye is obtained from the flowers, used for colouring sugar and confectionary.
Flowers - Annuals to direct sow in September
There is still time to direct sow these hardy annuals where you want them to flower next spring.