Cornflower or Bachelor's Button (Centaurea cyanus)

Cornflower or Bachelor's Button (Centaurea cyanus)

World-famous “cornflower blue” is the bluest blue in the flower kingdom, and that makes this many people’s favorite flower. Easy to grow, quick to bloom, great for cutting. Strong seedlings have a “silvery” look in a seeded meadow. In fact, cornflower grows so well, it has become somewhat of a pest in some areas, most notably the Southeast. Birds love seed. American goldfinches (wild canaries), particularly, put on quite a show as they dive into fields of this flower when it is going to seed. This is the famous flower of many romantic legends, thus the name “Bachelor’s Button”. Young single girls wore the bloom as a signal of availability in Old England. It also always figures prominently in the Victorian "Language of Flowers"--of which there are several versions.
No of seeds per lb: 99,790

 Identifying Characteristics:  Winter annual with leaves and stems that are covered with long white hairs and leaves that resemble a grass.  This weed is sometimes confused with both Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) and corn cockle (Agrostemma githago).  However, spotted knapweed forms a basal rosette of leaves during the first year of growth and its leaves are much more deeply lobed than those of cornflower.    Additionally, the leaves of corn cockle are joined across the stem and the stems of this plant are swollen at the nodes whereas neither of these characteristics occurs with  spotted knapweed or cornflower.

 Weed Description:  An erect winter annual with long white hairs and blue, white, or pink flowers.  Plants may reach 3   feet in height and primarily occur as weeds in winter small grains.  Found throughout the eastern half of the United States and also from California north to Washington.

Seedling:   Stems below the cotyledons (hypocotyls) are stout and without hairs (glabrous).  Cotyledons are without hairs but the first true leaves have hairs and a grayish appearance.

Leaves: Leaves are narrow, approximately 2 to 6 inches long and   inch wide.  Due to the leaf appearance, these plants are often confused for a grass.   Leaves are alternate, linear in outline, and covered with long white hairs.

Flowers: Many solitary heads are produced on long flower stalks (pedicels).  Individual flower heads are approximately 1 to 2 inches wide and blue to purple, white, or pink in color.

Average planting success with this species: 80%
Height: 2-3 feet
Germination: 7-25 days
Optimum soil temperature for germination: 60-70F
Sowing depth: 1/8"
Blooming period: March-May
Average seeds per pound: 96,000
Seeding rate: 4 lbs. per acre
Suggested use: Roadsides, vacant lots, borders, flower gardens.
Miscellaneous: Does well in mixtures. Cornflowers retain their bright colors when dried making them excellent candidates for dried flower arrangem

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