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A picture of a Cornflower


Centaurea spp.

Also known as

Centaury, Centory, Starthistle, Knapweed, Loggerhead, Bluets, Hardheads

Asteraceae - Centaurea triumfettii by Hectonichus (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Light watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size





  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Cornflower

A photo of Cornflower
A photo of Cornflower
A photo of Cornflower
A photo of Cornflower
A photo of Cornflower

Cornflower Overview

Centaurea is a large genus consisting of over 730 species of hardy herbaceous annual and perennial plants, typically found in dry habitats. Species in this genus are only found north of the equator, mainly in the Middle East and some are common in the UK where they are found in grassland, pastures or meadows. They are considered weedy plants as they readily colonise and dominate large areas. Flowers resemble thistles, they are produced in a range of colours including blue, red, yellow and white. The common name cornflower is often used for a few species but it more specifically refers to the annual cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, or the perennial cornflower, Centaurea montana.

Common problems with Cornflower

How to propagate Cornflower



You can propagate by seeds or division in the autumn or spring.

Special features of Cornflower

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Attracts useful insects

Many Centaurea species are very rich in nectar and serve as a food source to numerous insects.

Other uses of Cornflower

Grown for the flower heads that each have a thistle like centre surrounded by a ring of slender ray petals. Suitable for coastal conditions.

Looking Good In May - Top 10

Traditionally flowering in May, these flowers will be at their best this month.

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Summer Blooms for pollinators - Top 20

A choice of the best summer flowering plants for pollinators.

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