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A picture of a Cornflower

Cornflower

Centaurea cyanus

Also known as

Bachelor's Buttons, Koringblom (Afr.), Blue bottle, Blue cornflower

Centaurea cyanus 20060624120252wp by Albert H. (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy

7a

USDA zone

-18°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1m

Max

50cm

50cm

Min

10cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Cornflower

A close up of some purple Centaurea cyanus flowers
A close up of the blue flower of Centaurea cyanus, the cornflower.
A photo of Cornflower
A photo of Cornflower
A photo of Cornflower

Cornflower Overview

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

Generally pest-free.

How to propagate Cornflower

Seed

Sow seeds end of summer about 6 - 8 mm deep. Germination time about 7 - 14 days.

Special features of Cornflower

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Winter colour

Attracts birds

Leave seedheads of the last flowers for bird food.

Other uses of Cornflower

Culinary, medicinal

Medicinal

The petals can be used as a bitter tonic to aid digestion and the leaves as a rinse for scalp eczema.

Edible

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.

Garden Annuals

Annuals are mostly, self seeders and flower every year giving you lots of bang for your buck.

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