Colour/color Digital painting by J. McCombie
Centaurea cyanus, commonly known as cornflower, bachelor’s button, bluebottle, boutonniere flower, hurtsickle or cyani flower, is an annual flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe. “Cornflower” is also used for chicory, and a few other Centaurea species; to distinguish C. cyanus from these it is sometimes called common cornflower. It may also be referred to as basketflower, though the term also refers to the Plectocephalus group of Centaurea, which is probably a distinct genus.
Cornflower ‘Frosted Queen’ is a delightful change to the more usual cornflowers and is a very pretty annual that is perfect for filling gaps in summer borders where it will grow to a height of 75cm (30in). This ‘cottage garden’ favourite includes very double, powder-puff blooms in shades of blue, pink, rose, deep red and maroon, each with ice white tops, and white edged with pink … creating a stunning effect.
Very easy to grow, this hardy annual can be sown in spring or in autumn, they are ideal for beds and borders and can also be grown in containers. They make a wonderful addition to any cutting garden and last well in the vase. They also make a good dried flower. Cornflowers thrive in poor soil and are drought tolerant, they flower all summer, they make great cut flowers and butterflies and bees adore them.