Cornflower (Centaurea) Facts

Cornflower (Centaurea) Facts
Cornflower is herbaceous plant that belongs to the daisy family. It originates from Europe, but it can be found in many countries around the world today (it is especially common and widespread in North America and Australia). Cornflower tolerates various types of soil. It can grow exposed to full sun or in the partial shade. Even though cornflower easily occupies new areas (outside its native range), it vanishes quickly from its native habitats in Europe due to accelerated development of agriculture and extensive usage of herbicides. People cultivate cornflower mostly in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Cornflower (Centaurea) Facts:
Cornflower has erect, hairy, multi-branched stem that can reach 1 to 3 feet in height.
Cornflower develops narrow, lance-shaped, grayish-green leaves. They are alternately arranged on the stem.
Cornflower produces flowers arranged in the flower heads on top of the flowering stem. Flower head is made of disk florets, located centrally, and ray, petal-like florets, on the periphery of the flower head. Flowers are available in various shades of blue, white, pink, red, purple and maroon color. All colors, except blue, were created artificial, via selective breeding (only wild cornflower has blue flowers). Coneflower can produce single and double blooms (flowers with additional rows of petals). Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Coneflower blooms from June to September. Flowers are rich source of nectar which attracts bees and butterflies, main pollinators of this plant.
Fruit of coneflower is yellowish, flat cypsela (type of dry fruit).
Cornflower propagates via seed.
Cornflower is type of self-seeding plant, which means that it doesn't require external help for the successful dispersal of seed.
Cornflower produces edible flowers. They have cucumber-like taste. Flowers can be consumed in the form of salad and tea or used as garnish. Cornflower is an excellent source of nectar, which is used for the production of high-quality honey.
Name "cornflower" refers to the fact that this plant often grows in the fields of corn. Nickname "bachelor's button" refers to old practice of some men to wear cornflower in one of the buttonholes on their suit when they are in love or when they are ready for courting.
Cornflower is very popular garden flower (it has been cultivated in the USA since Colonial times). Cornflower can be often seen in the wildflower gardens and rockeries.
Cornflower can be used as cut flower for the preparation of various fresh and dried floral arrangements (coneflower remains brightly colored after drying).
Cornflower can be used to prevent inflammation, in treatment of conjunctivitis and to relieve symptoms of tired eyes.
Cornflower can be used as a source of blue dye.
Cornflower is national flower of Estonia.
Cornflower completes its life cycle in one year (annual plant). It has a vase life of up to 10 days.

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