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Irish Florists > Flowers > Cornflower

Cornflower / Centuarea

Cornflower Description

The cornflower or knapweed is a very popular and old hardy annual flowering plant. It is a florist's favourite and is frequently found in flower arrangements. Sprays of white, pink, blue, purple and red blossoms sit atop spindly narrow stems. The foliage is silver-grey.

Cornflowers display well in a garden bed on their own or as part of a cottage garden mix including marigolds and tall poppies.

In the past young me in love wore cornflowers and if the bloom faded quickly it was a sign that the love was unrequited.

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Cultivation of Cornflower Plants

Cornflower Blooms

Cornflower seeds should be sown in early autumn for flowers in spring. Chooses a sunny site that has good drainage.

The plants should be thinned out to about 30cm apart from each other. Dwarf varieties should be thinned top 23cm apart from each other.

Tall varieties of cornflower usually require staking with narrow bamboos canes or twigs.

Deadheading will prolong the flowering season.

Popular Varieties of Cornflower

The following lists some popular varieties of Cornflower.

Dairy Maid Oriental species, yellow blooms
Blue Diadem

Dark blue blossoms, large doubles

Tall Double Mixed Pink, red, mauve, blue flowers, very tall
The Bride White blooms, fragrant

Pink, red, blue, white with pink hue

Jubilee Gem Dark blue, double flowers
Polka Dot Blues & reds

Cornflower Pests and Diseases

Cornflowers can be susceptible to rust and / or mildew on leaves and stems. The blooms may also be affected by petal blight.

Height 30 - 90cm

Cornflower - Scientific Classification

Planting distance: 24 to 30cm Kingdom Plantae
Flowers from early summer to early autumn Order Asterales
Well-drained soil Family Asteraceae
Sunny site Genus Centaurea
Hardy annual    
Flowers Index Cornflower Hyacinth Pot Marigold
African Daisy Crocus Lily Primula
Ageratum Daffodil Lily of the Valley Snapdragon
Alstroemeria Dahlia Lobelia Snowdrop
Anemone Daisy Marigold Stock
Babys Breath Delphinium Pansy Sunflower
Begonia Forget-me-Not Pelargonium Sweet Alyssum
Bells of Ireland Freesia Petunia Sweet Pea
Busy Lizzie Gladiolus Phlox Tulip
Chrysanthemum Hollyhock Poppy Wallflower

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