Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dusty Miller, Velvet Centaurea
Centaurea cineraria 'Colchester White'

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

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


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

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is resistant to deer
Flowers are good for drying and preserving
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By vossner
Thumbnail #1 of Centaurea cineraria by vossner

By vossner
Thumbnail #2 of Centaurea cineraria by vossner


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive gardenglorious 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.

Positive vossner 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.


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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