Also known as
Blue Cornflower, 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
Centaurea cyanus 20060624120252wp by Albert H. (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
This plant has a mild fragrance
More images of Cornflower
Centaurea cyanus is a good choice for new gardeners as they are easy to grow and they make great cut flowers. They originally appeared as weeds in grain fields but now more likely to appear in ornamental gardens. Similar to sweet peas, the flowers of this upright annual plant need to be picked constantly to promote continued flowering. It typically grows to a height of around 75cm, producing single, blue flowers measuring around 3-4cm in diameter. These are borne from late spring through to summer. Foliage is simple and oval to linear in shape, sometimes lobed. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!
Common problems with Cornflower
White mold, rust, powdery mildew, thread blight. Destroy any plants that become badly infected to prevent it from spreading to surrounding plants.
How to harvest Cornflower
Cut flowers just before they are open fully; the centre of the flower should still be dipped inwards slightly.
How to propagate Cornflower
Sow seeds end of summer about 6 - 8 mm deep. Germination time about 7 - 14 days. Transplant seedlings in Autumn as soon as big enough to handle.
Special features of Cornflower
Attracts useful insects
Diversity of insects will visit the flowers and help with pollinating neighbouring plantsin the process.
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.
Annuals are mostly, self seeders and flower every year giving you lots of bang for your buck.
Flowers to Sow Outside in October
Direct sow these during October where you want them to flower next year!