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Cornflower

Centaurea cyanus

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

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A good choice for eager 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, they need to be picked constantly to keep on flower.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Summer, Winter
Fruiting time
Spring, Summer, Winter

Harvesting

Cut flowers just before they are open fully; the centre of the flower should still be dipped inwards slightly.

Propagation

Seed
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

Crop rotation
Light Feeder
Attracts useful insects
Diversity of insects will visit the flowers and help with pollinating neighbouring plantsin the process.

Geography

Origin
Europe and the Near East
Natural climate
Temperate to warm

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

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.
Notes
Culinary, medicinal

Personality

Family
Asteraceae
Flower colour
Blue, Indigo, Whites and Pinks, Blue
Scent
Mild

Problems

White mold, rust, powdery mildew, thread blight. Destroy any plants that become badly infected to prevent it from spreading to surrounding plants.

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