Centaurea

(Perennial cornflower/Knapweed) I love these free-flowering, clump-forming plants, which can be divided into two groups: tall and upright ones with large, knob-like flowers and short, mounding types with flat, wheel-like flowers.

    

Above: Centaurea 'John Coutts', Centaurea 'Jordy', Centaurea montana 'Purple Heart'

Centaurea Flowers & Plant Shape

In my garden the shorter types form the backbone of the mid-spring border. All have flowers that emerge from a distinctive boss of scaly, papery bracts, and the foliage is also very handsome.

Centaureas Are Great For

Most Centaurea are short and therefore great for the front of the border. Just one is suitable for the back and that is Centaurea macrocephala. Bees and butterflies love these plants. They are also suitable for cutting.

How To Care For Centaureas

Centaurea love a well-drained soil that does not dry out, in sun or partial shade. Remove the old stems of shorter Centuaurea to discourge the plant from seeding around and to promote new flowers. Cutting back the whole clump will encourage tidier growth and help to prevent mildew from taking hold later in the season. 

Centaureas Are Great with

Anything 'cottagey' including Achillea, Campanula and Salvia

    

Above: Centaurea macrocephala, Centaurea montana, Centaurea montana 'Carnea'

Buy Centaurea

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