Centaurea cyanus

Centaurea cyanus is also known as Cornflower or Bachelor’s Buttons as well as other long lists of names I will include at the end of this page. This is the national flower of Estonia and it is also a symbol in Germany and Austria. It is also used as a symbol by political parties in Finland, Sweden, and Estonia. Centaurea cyanus belongs to the Asteraceae family of plants. It is an upright annual which flowers in spring and summer. It is native to Europe.

Centaurea cyanus, Cornflower
Centaurea cyanus or Batchelor’s Button

Originally Centaurea cyanus or Cornflower was treated as weed and as it grew around cornfields therefore the name Cornflower. However, now it is mostly grown as an ornamental flower and disappearing from its natural habitat.

Centaurea cyanus
Centaurea cyanus, Cornflower

It grows from 40 to 90cm or 1.2 to 3ft. it has grayish-green stems with lanceolate foliage. The flowers are probably one of the bluest I have seen, it is a beautiful shade of toilet blue. Through cultivation, we have other Cornflower colors such as pink, white, purple, or very dark maroon.

The flowers are edible and used as decoration on cakes or salads, as well as brewed as a tea. Plant them in the sun in well-drained soil. They are usually pest-free but watch out for powdery mildew. Deadhead the flowers to prolong flowering. Propagate by seed. Seeds germinate fast.

Centaurea cyanus, Corflower
Centaurea cyanus or Cornflower or Batchelor’s Button

As to the common name Bachelor’s Button is due to stories that men in love used to wear the flower and if it faded very quickly it meant the love would not be returned and is short-lived. There is also a story that Beautiful Queen Louise of Prussia while fleeing Napoleon’s forces, hid her children in a Cornflower field and therefore it became a national symbol in Germany.

Centaurea cyanus, Batchelor's Button
Centaurea cyanus, Batchelor’s Button, or Cornflower

Centaurea cyanus is known by many common names such as you can see in the list below:

Blue bow 
Blue poppy 
Blue sailors 
Blue tops 
Born Binks 
Corn Centaury 
French Pink 
Happy Skies 
Haw Dods 
Ragged Robin 
Ragged Sailor 
Witches’ Bells

About Online Flower Garden & Dino

I am a flower enthusiast and a gardener at heart. Ever since childhood I loved reading about plants and started gardening at an early age. First by helping my father in the garden and later managing a large garden myself in my teen years. I planted and cared for a large number of plants, flowers, and trees both outdoors and in a greenhouse. To this day I enjoy visiting gardens and parks and learning about new and old specimens and varieties of plants.

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