I love this blue. It’s the blue of the perennial cornflower (Centaurea montana) — vibrant, strong and utterly happy. In the photo above it’s about to fully open. (I love how it looks as if it’s exploding out of a tiny pineapple!)
The perennial cornflower, Centaurea montana, is also commonly known as Bachelor’s Button. Don’t confuse it with the annual cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, which also is known as Bachelor’s Button.
I didn’t know a thing about cornflowers until I inherited two leftover pots from our garden club’s annual plant sale (Redding Garden Club – very awesome club and website). The pots didn’t have any tags and no one knew what they were, so I took them home and stuck them in the ground. When they bloomed the following spring I was smitten. Since then I’ve divided and replanted, and divided again, and they still make me happy just looking at them.
They bloom late spring to midsummer (early and often). They get floppy, though. I haven’t figured out the best way to stake them, since part of their charm is that they look loose, like they’re having a bit of a free-for-all, and staking can make them look like they have a stake up their — …Well, anyway, I’m working on it.
Centaurea montana loves sun and will tolerate light shade and some drought. It’s been very hardy in my garden and they’re easy to divide. Fine Gardening lists their hardiness as zones 3-9.