Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
Key facts about the beautiful Cornflower
- Height: 20-90cm
- Flowering Time: June – August
- Flower colour: Cornflower blue
- Growth habit: upright
- Habitat: Disturbed ground in full sun with light and sandy soil
- Appears in: Meadowmat for Garden Birds and Bees
- Also in: Cottage Garden Meadowmat, Heritage Meadowmat
A Brief Description of Cornflowers
This once common cornfield annual is sadly quite rare in the wild which is a shame since it is one of our prettiest native wildflowers.
These are annual plants which means that they germinate, grow, flower, set seed and die within a 12 month period.
Bright blue flowers up to 3cm wide are held aloft on slender stems. Leaves are long, slender and pale green.
Where to use Cornflowers
Cornflowers never fail to raise a smile no matter where they are growing. In a planter, amongst cottage garden flowers, between rows of vegetables or as part of a wildflower meadow, cornflowers look amazing! Plus, they are very easy to grow.
Unsurprisingly, the juice can be extracted from the flowers and mixed with alum to make a watercolour paint.
Once dried, the flowers can be made into a medicinal tea. In historical times, such teas have been used to treat constipation, water retention and chest congestion. Apparently cornflower tea is also a good liver tonic.
For me though, I just want to see swathes of these flowers growing everywhere.
Cornflowers in Meadowmat
Most of the plants in the different types of Meadowmat are perennial but we simply couldn’t resist adding some cornflowers to our Birds and Bees, Cottage Garden and Heritage mixes just to add a bright pop of colour in the first summer.
Because it’s an annual, you’ll see fewer cornflowers in the second and subsequent years – unless of course, you harvest the seeds and sow them onto disturbed ground. Free seeds? Who can resist?
- Reliable and very easy to grow
- Bright pop of colour during summer months
- Attracts butterflies, bees and other pollinators
- Can be dead-headed to prolong the flowering period
- Perfect for any style of garden
Love blue flowers? Have a look at this nettle leaved bellflower – a cottage garden favourite