Alphabetical Plant Listing

Centaurea montana (Mountain Cornflower)

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


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.

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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 Centaurea - Cornflowers
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" (37cm – 45cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Iva Vagnerova, Shutterstock

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.


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 Centaurea - Cornflowers
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" (37cm – 45cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Centaurea - Cornflowers

Guides with Centaurea - Cornflowers

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