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*Bachelor's button* ...(^-^)

Cornflower

 

Scientific classification

 

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Asterales

Family: Asteraceae

Genus: Centaurea

Species: C. cyanus

Binomial name : Centaurea cyanus

Native: Europe

Color: Blue,pink,white and purple

 

Height: 40-90 cm tall,with grey-green branched stems.The leaves are lanceolate, 1-4 cm long.

 

Flowers: The flowers are most commonly an intense blue colour, produced in flowerheads (capitula) 1.5-3 cm diameter, with a ring of a few large, spreading ray florets surrounding a central cluster of disc florets.

 

Common names:Cornflower, Bachelor's button, Basket flower, Bluebottle, Boutonniere flower, Hurtsickle,knapweed, thornless thistle, cardo-del-valle, dusty miller, blue bottle, mountain bluet, sweet-sultan, hard heads, and Spanish buttons.

 

In the past it often grew as a weed in crop fields. It is now endangered in its native habitat by agricultural intensification, particularly over-use of herbicides, destroying its habitat; in the United Kingdom it has declined from 264 sites to just 3 sites in the last 50 years. It is also however, through introduction as an ornamental plant in gardens and a seed contaminant in crop seeds, now naturalised in many other parts of the world, including North America and parts of Australia.

 

In folklore, cornflowers were worn by young men in love; if the flower faded too quickly, it was taken as a sign that the man's love was unrequited.

 

In herbalism a decoction of cornflower is effective in treating conjunctivitis, and as a wash for tired eyes.

 

Although it comes in pink and white, it's the blue variety that is the most striking. This annual (grows just one year) thrives in hot, dry conditions, reseeds freely and is often used in wildflower plantings. It's a great cut flower for arrangements and dries well.

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Taken on June 19, 2008