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Centaurea montana (Mountain Cornflower)

Mountain Cornflower, Perennial Cornflower, Mountain Bluets, Knapweed, Mountain Knapweed, Bachelor's Button, Great Blue-Bottle

Centaura Montana, Mountain Cornflower, Perennial Cornflower, Mountain Bluets, Knapweed, Mountain Knapweed, Bachelor's Button, Great Blue-Bottle , Blue flowers

Prized for its flamboyant, rich blue flowers, Centaurea montana (Mountain Cornflower) is an erect, stoloniferous, clump-forming perennial with fringed, blue flowers, 2 in. wide (5 cm), adorned with reddish blue, thistle-like centers from late spring to early summer. Attracting bees, butterflies, and other admirers, the thistle-like blossoms may bloom again in late summer-early fall. The flowers appear atop unbranched stems above the foliage of soft, gray-green, lance-shaped leaves. Native to Europe, this rhizomatous perennial will self-seed prolifically if not deadheaded and may spread fairly quickly to form colonies in satisfactory growing conditions.

  • Grows up to 12-24 in. tall (30-60 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or light shade in average, dry to moist, well-drained soils. Poor soils, heat, and drought tolerant.
  • Good choice for beds and borders, cottage gardens, prairies and meadows, coastal gardens, and containers. Great as cut flowers too!
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for powdery mildew.
  • Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering, and cut back in fall.
  • Propagate by division in spring or autumn.
  • Centaurea montana is native to Europe, where it grows in meadows and open woodland in the upper montane and sub-alpine zones. This popular garden perennial has become an invasive species in British Columbia, Canada.
  • Find where this species is invasive in the United States.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Centaurea
Common names Bachelor's Button, Cornflower, Knapweed, Mountain Cornflower
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 15" - 18"
(40cm - 50cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Centaurea cyanus ‘Jubilee Gem’ (Cornflower)
Centaurea dealbata (Persian Cornflower)
Centaurea dealbata ‘John Coutts’ (Persian Cornflower)
Centaurea cyanus ‘Black Gem’ (Cornflower)
Centaurea cyanus ‘Pinkie’ (Cornflower)
Centaurea cyanus ‘Snowman’ (Cornflower)

Recommended Companion Plants

Heuchera ‘Caramel’ (Coral Bells)
Aquilegia vulgaris (Columbine)
Hosta ‘Undulata’ (Wavy Plantain Lily)
Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ (Threadleaf Coreopsis)
Centranthus ruber (Red Valerian)
Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

A Very Attractive Border Idea for Your Garden
Stunning Blue Flowers to Enhance Your Garden’s Beauty
Best Annual Flowers and Plants to Spruce up Your Garden
Companion Planting With Annuals
Native Plant Alternatives to Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Centaurea
Common names Bachelor's Button, Cornflower, Knapweed, Mountain Cornflower
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 15" - 18"
(40cm - 50cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Centaurea
Guides with
Centaurea
Not sure which Centaurea to pick?
Compare Now

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