The Blue Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) is thought that the plant derives its name from the Latin centaurum, referring to the legend that the plant’s medicinal properties were discovered by the centaur Chiron, and cyanus meaning “precious stone,” in reference to lapis-lazuli, a relatively rare semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color.
The silvery rosettes of bachelor’s button are some of the earliest plants to appear in the garden, having self-seeded from the previous year. This flower is a good choice for an informal cottage garden. Taller varieties benefit from the support of sturdier annuals, like Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). To prevent powdery mildew leaf disease, keep the soil evenly moist in hot weather.
- Other names: Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button, Bluebottle, Boutonniere Flower, Hurtsickle, Cyani Flower
- Synonyms: Cyanus segetum (Hill)
- Family: Asteraceae (daisy family)
- Native to: Europe