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Cornflower Fast Facts

By Karen Carter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Cornflowers are a hardy annual that grows vigorously with little care. These bushy plants have narrow silver-green leaves and thin stems with fluffy blossoms.

Other Names

The scientific name of the cornflower is Centaurea cyanus. Other common names are bachelor’s buttons, basket flowers and old-fashioned blue-bottles.


Cornflowers can grow 12 to 30 inches tall and spread up to 12 inches wide.


Cornflower blossoms grow 1 to 2 inches wide and bloom throughout the summer. Blooms are white, blue, purple, pink or red. Deadhead the dying blooms to prolong a cornflower’s blossoming season.


Cornflowers prefer full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. They like average-quality soil that drains well. They are drought-tolerant and can survive drying out when planted in containers.


Sow cornflowers in early spring. Plant them every two weeks until mid-summer to stagger blossoming time and extend the flowering season. Cornflowers are self-seeders, so leave a few blossoms at the end of summer to replant for next spring.


About the Author


Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.