Skip to main content
A picture of a Cornflower


Centaurea cyanus

Also known as

Blue-Bottle, Bachelor's Buttons, Barbeau, Blaver, Blawort, Blue Blaw, Blue Bonnets, Blue Bow, Blue Poppy, Blue Sailors, Blue Tops, Bluets, Break-Your-Spectacles, Brushes, Bunk, Corn Binks, Cornbottle, Corn Centaury, French Pink, Happy Skies, Haw Dods, Hurtsickle, Ragged Robin, Ragged Sailor, Witches' Bells, Corn-Pinks, Thimbles, Witch's-Bells, Blue bottle, Blue cornflower

Centaurea cyanus 20060624120252wp by Albert H. (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Cornflower

A close up of some purple Centaurea cyanus flowers
A photo of Cornflower
A photo of Cornflower
A photo of Cornflower

Cornflower Overview

Centaurea cyanus is an upright, clump-forming annual with slightly lobed leaves and solitary deep blue flowers that are 3-4cm across, that appear in late spring and summer. They are found as wildflowers (traditionally in cornfields) across northern temperate regions and are a good choice for new gardeners as they are easy to grow. They make great cut flowers and the more they are picked, the more flowers will be produced! They like a sunny position and well-drained soil. As well as flower borders and beds and wildlife gardens, cornflowers can be grown as patio and container plants - and they are often seen in coastal locations. Centaurea cyanus - also known most commonly as the cornflower - is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative that showcases plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/or pollen. A great choice for encouraging wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Cornflower

Generally pest-free.

How to propagate Cornflower


Sow seeds end of summer about 6 - 8 mm deep. Germination time about 7 - 14 days.

Special features of Cornflower

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Winter colour

Attracts birds

Leave seedheads of the last flowers for bird food.

Other uses of Cornflower

Culinary, medicinal


The petals can be used as a bitter tonic to aid digestion and the leaves as a rinse for scalp eczema.


Fresh flowers can be used in salads or as a garnish. An edible blue dye is obtained from the flowers, used for colouring sugar and confectionary.

Deer Resistant Plants

Although never fully deer proof - they are less likely to eat these.

Explore all

Blue Flowering Summer Plants

Love blue flower and looking for summer inspiration.

Explore all


About usCareersPrivacy policy

Candide is your guide to visiting UK public gardens. Find the best gardens, buy tickets and enter with just your phone. Download the app for offline tickets, community access and more.

Terms & ConditionsCode of Conduct

© 2023 Candide

Made in Bristol