Centaurea – Knapweed, Hardy Cornflower, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

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Perennial Flower Information

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Centaurea – Knapweed,
Hardy Cornflower, Hardheads, Mountain Bluet

The Centaureas
are some of the most graceful flowers to grow in any
garden. The flower heads are like showy, ragged thistle
blooms of bright red, deep purple, golden yellow and
blue. They grow from 2 feet to 3 1/2 feet tall and bloom
during the Summer months.

SPECIES.
The Golden Knapweed (Ceataurea macrocephala) is perhaps
the showiest of all because the thistle-like, golden
yellow flower heads are very large. The plant itself
is an erect and somewhat spindly grower and the stems
are stiff.

The Mountain
Bluet
(C. montana) has numerous deep blue
flower somewhat resembling the annual Cornflower and
grows 11/2 feet tall.

The Knapweed
(C. dealbata) has flowers which are lilac-pink
to white in the center, or a bright red. This species
seems to attract the birds when the seed is ripe, thus
making it hard to save the seed.

C.
babylonica is a
whitish perennial with yellow flowers
which grows at least 3 feet tall.

Several
of the species are known as Dusty Millers; the foliage
is white throughout the Summer. C. cineraria has
less divided leaves than the other common species C.
gymnocarpa, but the leaves are usually whiter.

UTILIZE.
Centaureas are used for the perennial border, for pots,
baskets and the rock garden. The Golden Knapweed is
the largest flowered sort and is most attractive planted
among shrubs. Most of these plants produce long stemmed
and lasting flowers which are admirable for cutting.

The Dusty
Millers have a real place in the garden for there is
no contrast so charming as that between the bright colors
of most perennials and the gray or whitish leaves of
these plants. They may be clipped low as edging plants.

GENERAL.
Cetaureas are of very easy culture. They bloom
best when planted in an open, sunny position, with any
good garden soil. Clip back the Dusty Millers to keep
them at the desired height and form. The blooms are
not valuable.

PROPAGATION.
They are propagated from seeds, although some of the
sorts may be readily divided. The Dusty Millers are
increased both by seeds and cuttings

 


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