Centaurea Seed ( Annual )
Latin Name Pronunciation: sen-taw-ree'uh
Although cornflowers are native to Europe, where they got their common name because they often grew in corn fields. They have made themselves at home in North American and can be found naturalizing throughout most of the continent. Because of their near true blue color and profuse bloom, they are popular garden flowers as well.
The other common name is Bachelors Button. The term bachelor's button refers to the long-lasting quality of the flower when it is cut and placed in the buttonhole of a suit or shirt; decades ago, bachelors sported the flower when they went courting. The origin of the word 'bluet' is from the French word for the mountain centaurea.
Cornflowers are annuals that can be grown just about anywhere, from USDA Hardiness Zone 2 through 11, but they should be planted during the cool season and will decline as the weather heats up.
Grow Centaurea in full sun or partial shade and moisture-retentive but well-drained soil. Cut flower stems to the ground after first wave of blossoms to encourage rebloom (which isn't dependable in the South) and to curb tendency to self-sow.
Centaureas are very easy to grow from seed started indoors or out. The taller varieties, which are so useful in cutting gardens, may not be readily available as plants at garden centers and should be started from seed. Perennial mountain bluet simply takes a little longer to germinate than the annual kinds; started early enough, it may bloom the first year it is planted.
Sow seeds about 1/2 inch deep in any good garden soil. Centaureas prefer slightly alkaline soil, but they are really not fussy.
Keep the seedbed moist until germination occurs in 7 to 10 days for annuals, 2 to 3 or 3-1/2 weeks for perennials.
Annual cornflowers perform best when they are slightly crowded. Thin the annuals to stand anywhere from 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the species or cultivar. Space perennials 2 to 3 feet apart.
Sow seeds indoors about one month before you want to plant the seedlings outdoors.
3596 Florist Blue Boy ( Centaurea cyanus )
Classic cornflowers with many uses. Also known as cornflower, garden cornflower, and bachelor's buttons.
This is an easy-to-grow annual heirloom cut-flower. The double flowers have a light fragrance. They are a mysterious color that appears purple or blue at different times during the day. The plants are carefree and drought tolerant.
Upright plants produce abundant 1-1½" blooms and grows about 24 to 36 inches tall.
Prefers cool temperatures.
Edible Flowers: Use the petals of this great edible flower for decorating desserts. Centaurea is also a popular choice for brightening up salad mix. Flavor is bland and mildly floral.
JF543 Imperial Bride White ( Centaurea imperialis )
Beautiful white flowered variety. Freeflowering, mid size fluffy fringed flowers, sweet scent, for cottage garden or cutflower. Grows about 30" tall, blooms in 9 weeks from seed.
JF544 Sweet Sultan Yellow ( Centaurea moschata odorata suaveolens )
Fragrant yellow flowers with many uses. They are suitable for drying, attracts butterflies and bees and are suitable for cutting.
Grows about 26" tall, blooms in 9 weeks from seed.
JF545 Jubilee Gem ( Centaurea cyanus )
Also known as Baby Blue Cornflower. The intensely colored blooms are excellent for cutting and a magnet for bees and butterflies in the garden. Add the petals to salads as a colorful garnish or sprinkle over omelettes or even pasta.
Grows about 16" tall, blooms in 12 weeks from seed.
JF546 Aloha Blanca ( Centaurea americana )
Ideal for cutting or drying, large fluffy white flowers, strong stems.
Grows about 60" tall, blooms in 9 weeks from seed.
JF547 Frosty Mix ( Centaurea cyanus )
Double bi-color mix, all with picotee white rim, unique.
Grows about 36" tall, blooms in 9 weeks from seed.
IM061 Florence Blue ( Centaurea cyanus )
Florence Series Bachelor Buttons feature double 2" fringed,
compact mound, basal branched, for pot or garden, grows only
10" tall, annual.