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The annual blue cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, is a slender plant bearing pretty flowers in rich shades of blue. It's commonly used in pictorial and annual meadow schemes, and makes an excellent cut flower. Cultivars of the species may have red, pink, and white flowers.
Centaurea cyanus 'Black Ball' bears unusual chocolate-coloured flowers on thin wiry stems. It's extremely attractive to bees.
For best results, grow Centaurea cyanus 'Black Ball' in moist but well-drained soil, in full sun. The wiry plants may need support in exposed situations. Deadhead spent blooms to prolong flowering in summer, but leave seeds to develop towards autumn, as these will provide food for birds.
Cultivar: Black Ball
Plant type: Hardy annual
Flower colour: Purple
Foliage colour: Blue-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: September to April
Flowering period: June to August
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