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Centaurea cyanus

Cornflower

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy annual

Flower colour

Mixed

Feature

Flowers

Hardiness

Hardy

Skill level

Beginner

photo by bbc.co.uk/gardening

Plant details

The annual blue cornflower is a slender plant of great charm. Its rich shades of blue are much sought after, both for garden decoration and for flower arrangements. Garden varieties have added red, pink, lilac and white to the colour range, and even bright yellow is available in the closely related sweet sultan Amberboa moschatus. The wiry plants may need some discreet support, and deadheading helps to prolong the flowering season, as does autumn sowing, an option that will produce larger, earlier-flowering plants. This fully hardy plant requires a sunny site, growing in most well-drained soil types, even poor soil.

Family: Asteraceae

Genus: Centaurea

Species: cyanus

Plant type: Hardy annual

Flower colour: Mixed

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Dry, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 90cm

Spread: 30cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May


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