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Growing Bachelor's Button (Cornflower)

Botanical Name: Centaurea cyanus
Life Cycle: annual
Planting Time: sow in early spring or even late fall for early spring growth
Height: 12" to 30"
Exposure: full sun
Soil: well-drained, moist soil, alkaline pH
Bloom Time: early summer to fall
Flower: pink, white and blue
Foliage: green
Propagation: seeds
Suggested Use: beds, borders, cut flowers
Growing Hints: Although these plants can be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before last frost date, keep in mind that they do not like to be transplanted. If starting indoors, seeds should be cold treated in the refrigerator for one week prior to germinating. Sow directly in the ground in late fall or early spring and sow seeds every two weeks until mid summer for continuous blooms.
Interesting Facts: Bachelor Buttons grow wild in the fields of southern Europe. During the time when Napoleon forced Queen Louise of Prussia from Berlin, she hid her children, including her son Wilhelm, in a cornfield where they wove wreaths of Bachelor Buttons to pass the time. Wilhelm later became the emperor of Germany and made the "cornflower" a national symbol representing unity in honor of his mother.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at

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