Centaurea cyanus L. - Cornflower, Bachelor's Buttons, Blue Bottle

Centaurea cyanus plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems - To 1m tall, tomentose to arachnoid pubescent, herbaceous.

Centaurea cyanus stemStem close-up.

Leaves - Alternate. Cauline leaves linear, entire, arachnoid pubescent, to +10cm long, +5mm wide.

Inflorescence - Single flower head terminating branches.

Involucre - Involucre to 1.5cm tall, imbricate, phyllaries with fimbriate margins.

Centaurea cyanus involucreInvolucre.

Ray flowers - Absent.

Disc flowers - Corolla typically blue-purple but other colors in cultivated varieties, marginal flowers sterile. inner flowers smaller, fertile. Achenes to 4mm long. Pappus of capillary bristles.

Centaurea cyanus flowersDisk flowers.

Centaurea cyanus flowersLight pink form.

Flowering - May - September.

Habitat - Prairies, waste ground, roadsides, railroads. Also cultivated.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This plant is heavily cultivated and escaped to a variety of locations. The disk flowers can be blue-purple, white, or pink. The plant is commonly used in dried flower arrangements.

Photographs taken at Schumaker Park, 6-16-99 and 7-12-00, and by Tom's Creek, NC., 4-20-03.


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