Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cornflower, Bachelor's Button
Centaurea cyanus

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Centaurea (sen-TAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: cyanus (SY-an-us) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

66 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Light Blue
Medium Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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There are a total of 65 photos.
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13 positives
2 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive goldandsylvan On Mar 3, 2013, goldandsylvan from Ukiah, CA wrote:

I had problems with snails eating the plants (I don't bait or use poisons), so I started growing them in the greenhouse and transplanting them when they were bigger, as the snails are very picky and like them tender. It worked well, and I don't have any problem transplanting them, as long as I do it early enough.
Bachelor buttons flowers are edible, both raw in salads, and dried, in tea mixtures.
I also grow bachelor's buttons in pots, mixed with other flowers and ornamental plants, and the bachelor's buttons don't mind, as long as they are well-watered and don't get too hot.

Positive LoveYourPlantz On Apr 14, 2012, LoveYourPlantz from Salt Lake City, UT wrote:

I planted these for the first time last summer. They took a long time to sprout but when they did I had blooms from early summer into the fall. They were in full sun and thick, clay soil that does not drain especially well. This year I have planted them in a different spot where the soil is more sandy. They sprouted quickly so I am anxious to see if they bloom as long as they did last year.

Negative BlakeInCanada On Jul 14, 2011, BlakeInCanada from Kitchener
Canada (Zone 5a) wrote:

I sowed 2 batches of these. The first died within 1 hour of getting sunlight through a window.

So the second set got ever so gradual light. Every time they got any non-filtered light, they flopped over and looked dead. Keeping them watered didn't fix this. They are over a month old and still can't handle a sunny day outside but will come back to life slowly once brought inside.

2 of the 7 I had in the planter wilted and died gradually and inexplicably, while the others seem fine. The bottom of the stem of those two are darker. For annuals, these have been way too much trouble and I don't even know if the rest will survive long enough to bloom.

Negative dshattuck On Feb 2, 2010, dshattuck from Roseville, CA wrote:

I love cornflowers, but when planted some from seed (on two different years now) I get lots of really tall green plants, but no flowers! What am I doing wrong? Please help.

Positive htop On Mar 14, 2009, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Centaurea cyanus is also known as garden cornflower. It is native to Europe which has naturalized throughout North America. It can be found growing in all US states including Hawaii. In Texas, it grows in the wild in 11 counties. Seeds should be sown at a depth of 1/8 inch. Cornflower blooms retain their bright colors when dried and make great additions to dried flower arrangements.

Positive Malus2006 On Apr 19, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Of all the different kinds of mixed seeds, this plant will grow the most frequently from those mixed seeds. And that's in hot, humid summer with plenty of rain in sandy soil! Only Sweet William were second to this in mixed seeds - too bad I don't have any Bachelor's Button left - limited sun those days and lots of perennials.

Positive rjones8194 On Jun 8, 2007, rjones8194 from Independence, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I grew these this year by starting seeds in peat pots then transplanting. All the plants survived the transplant shock well. Some are nearly 4 ft tall now with very little care/watering. I've very happy with their performance.

Positive girlndocs On Apr 20, 2006, girlndocs from Tacoma, WA wrote:

I have not had trouble transplanting cornflower either. Those who wintersow will know they transplant beautifully (and early!) using the "hunk o seedlings" method.

Positive 433kfj On Nov 12, 2004, 433kfj from klamath falls, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant grows wild all over the place here. It is one of those "weeds" that doesn't seem to bother any one or anything. Mostly blue, but occasionally very light pink, white, or dark purple. I thought it was native when I was growing up because I saw it all over. However, you won't likely find it outside of human disdurbance of the ground. You won't see it much in the forest or sagebrush flats, but somehow it looks perfectly at home with sagebrush and the blue of its flowers goes so well with the sage. I never really thought about "growing" this because it was already "growing", but now I can see potential for making it grow in places where it might make more of an impact, color-wise. I'd really never thought of it that way before. It just grew where it grew.

Positive blondemommyof2 On Sep 19, 2004, blondemommyof2 from Lititz, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

looks great in a wild flower annual mix...

Positive PurplePansies On Aug 4, 2004, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Cornflower is most noted for its true blue flowers. Though now other cultivars (black pink and white) have popped up. The black is a deep burgundy color. My favorite is still the blue. Cornflower foliage is also decorative. It is silvery and slightly fuzzy. My cornflowers often get taller than noted in many books etc. Mine this year are about 4 feet! :) One of the easiest annuals to grow. :)

Positive annaks On Jul 12, 2004, annaks from Grande Prairie
Canada wrote:

Love this plant. I do not understand why some have trouble moving them. I used to scavenge 1-2 foot plants from a guy's compost pile, a day or two after they were yanked out of his garden. Eventually, I got him to call me when he was pulling them. All but the most shrivelled survived and thrived. I was just beginning to garden. It is a good thing I didn't know any better, because I love blue flowers.

Positive redneckhippie15 On May 14, 2004, redneckhippie15 from Amarillo, TX wrote:

My sister in law gave me a gallon ziplock of seed packs,
cornflowers were among the variety.My wife told me they were easy so.... I was impressed with both the foliage and the delicate blooms.
The rabbits really like them. After mowing them down twice,I was forced to "cage" them.
After re-emerging twice the little plants that could made a really happy gardener of me.
I had volunteers this year,naturally out of the bed, I had saved a few seeds and they have taken off really well this year and I expect similar results
good luck to all

Positive otleygarden On Jan 23, 2004, otleygarden from Perry, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Self sows and comes back for years.

Neutral starshine On Aug 7, 2003, starshine from Bend, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is easily grown and multiplies simply by plucking the dry heads of the flowers off the plant and crumbling them on the ground beneath it (or wherever you want them to grow.) They are excellant for dry lasting flower arrangements and hold their colours well under those circumstances.

On the downside, in order to maintain a nice looking plant they require deadheading on a regular basis, and as they age and get larger they will sometimes begin to look dry near the lower 6 inches or so of the plant.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 7, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Bachelor's button does not like to be transplanted, so it is important to sow seeds in the place where you want your plants to grow.

Positive Terry On Mar 12, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Old-fashioned bachelor's button or cornflowers are easy-to-grow and fill the garden with brilliant blue flowers and shimmery silver leaves. Blooms will appear from summer to early fall; successive sowings can extend bloom period.

Thrives in full sun except in scorching summer heat and will tolerate part-shade. Plant in well-drained soil. Once established, will tolerate drought conditions.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Auburn, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Seward, Alaska
Phoenix, Arizona
Bigelow, Arkansas
Morrilton, Arkansas
Beaumont, California
Concord, California
Elk Grove, California
Lake Forest, California
Merced, California
Oak View, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
Stockton, California
Ukiah, California
Denver, Colorado
Wilmington, Delaware
Brooksville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Keystone Heights, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Naples, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Athens, Georgia
Carrollton, Georgia
Hawkinsville, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Villa Rica, Georgia
Aurora, Illinois
Herrin, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Mattoon, Illinois
Palmyra, Illinois
Evansville, Indiana
Fredonia, Kansas
Lansing, Kansas
Calvert City, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Flemingsburg, Kentucky
Grayson, Kentucky
Independence, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Fort George G Meade, Maryland
Salisbury, Maryland
Milton, Massachusetts
Quincy, Massachusetts
Coloma, Michigan
Mason, Michigan
Fulda, Minnesota
La Crescent, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Byhalia, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Smithville, Mississippi
Blue Springs, Missouri
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
Lambert, Montana
Blair, Nebraska
Papillion, Nebraska
Greenville, New Hampshire
West Chesterfield, New Hampshire
Morristown, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Crown Point, New York
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbia Station, Ohio
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Mount Orab, Ohio
Bixby, Oklahoma
Altamont, Oregon
Bend, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Laurens, South Carolina
Cookeville, Tennessee
Crossville, Tennessee
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Carrollton, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Frisco, Texas
Ogden, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Richmond, Virginia
Temperanceville, Virginia
Clinton, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
Charleston, West Virginia
Morgantown, West Virginia
West Union, West Virginia
Weston, West Virginia
Delavan, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Pewaukee, Wisconsin

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