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Cornflower or bachelor's button (Centaurea cyanus)
Cornflower or bachelor's button (Centaurea cyanus)

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Zones 1-45, H1, H2
Full Sun
Regular Water

Centaurea cyanus

Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button
Asteraceae (Compositae)
Annuals, Flowers


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 cyanus

Bachelor's Button, or cornflower, is a pretty blue flower from northern temperate regions. A common but often welcome weed in some areas, such as the Pacific Northwest. Grows 1 to 1 1/2 ft. tall, less than a foot wide, branching if given enough space. Narrow gray-green leaves, 2–3 in. long. Spring to midsummer flowers are 1 1/2 in. across, in blue, pink, rose, wine red, or white; blue varieties are traditional favorites for boutonnieres.

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