Out of some 500 species, only a dozen or so are widely cultivated. Of these, annuals are grown mainly for cut flowers; perennial kinds are valued for soft, silvery foliage. All are relatively easy to grow. For best performance, add lime to acid soils. Sow seeds of annuals or set out plants of perennial kinds in spring or fall. (In desert regions, plant all in autumn for winter and spring bloom.)Centaurea cineraria
(This common name is used for many plants with whitish foliage; see Dusty Miller.) Native to Italy. Compact growth to 1 ft.wide, 1 ft. or taller. Velvety white, strapshaped leaves with broad, roundish lobes, mostly in basal clump. Solitary 1-in. flower heads (purple, occasionally yellow) in summer. Trim back after bloom. Blossoms attract bees.
Low, clumping or spreading plants grown for colorful daisies over long bloom season. These evergreen p...
Dense grower to 5 ft. high and wide, with bright green leaves and lavender flowers.
Grows 3 ft. tall and wide, with gray-green, slightly cupped leaves and light blue flowers.