Dusty Miller, Velvet Centaurea 'Colchester White'

Centaurea cineraria

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Centaurea (sen-TAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: cineraria (sin-uh-RAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Colchester White
Synonym:Centaurea gymnocarpa



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage


Provides winter interest

This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Phenix City, Alabama

Clovis, California

San Diego, California

Edinburg, Texas

Pearland, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Tyler, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 25, 2012, gardenglorious from San Diego, CA wrote:

This plant loves it in San Diego. It grows magnificently and needs NO water once established. Watering it can kill it fast.

I rooted tip cuttings in little prepared peat packages and it took no time at all. It will cover 8X8 feet or more, I'm still watching to see how far it will go. It is beautiful, flowers profusely, and is a great boon to arid areas due to its low water needs.

I could pass some around if I knew how to ship.


On Apr 20, 2012, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Rating neutral as new in my garden. It is often confused with jacobea maritima, which has similar silver, velvety foliage but yellow flowers. Centaurea cineraria has a blue, thistle-like flower. In my area some people commonly call it giant dusty miller but that can only lead to confusion.

UPDATE 02/13: has grown to 2' x 2' in less than 1 yr. No blooms yet. Changing rating to positive as it has been a very easy plant to grow. It looks a little out of place in its present location but I've been warned that it doesn't like transplanting. For now, I will trim as needed.