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Annual Biennial

Centaurea cyanus
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

cornflower

C. cyanus is an upright annual to 75cm, with simple or slightly lobed leaves and solitary deep blue flower-heads 3-4cm across in late spring and summer

Other common names
barbeau
blaver
see moreblue blaw
blue bonnets
blue bow
blue sailors
blue tops
break-your-spectacles
brushes
bunk
corn binks
corn centaury
cornbottle
French pink
happy skies
haw dods
hurtsickle
ragged sailor
bachelor's buttons [4]
blawort [2]
blue poppy [2]
bluebottle [2]
bluets [2]
ragged robin [2]
witches' bells [3]

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue Green
Summer Blue Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Asteraceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Centaurea may be annuals, perennials or subshrubs, with simple or pinnately lobed leaves and showy thistle-like flowers-heads, often with enlarged outer florets

Name status

Correct

Plant range
N temp. regions

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in-situ in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Coastal
  • Patio and container plants
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

May be affected by powdery mildews

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