Perennial Cornflower - Centaurea montana

[IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]

Description

"Centaurea montana is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile." "It is noted for attracting wildlife." "Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought." [PFAF]


Medicinal Uses


Pharmacology

Activites and Ethnobotanical Uses [DukePhyt]
  • Astringent
  • Collyrium
  • Cyanogenetic
  • Diuretic
  • Emmenagogue
  • Fever
  • Pectoral
  • Stimulant
  • Tonic

Centaurea

KNAPWEED, STAR-THISTLE

Habit: Annual to perennial herb. Stem: prostrate to erect, generally +- branched, generally ribbed, occasionally winged. Leaf: basal and cauline, alternate; proximal generally 1--2-pinnately lobed; distal generally +- reduced. Inflorescence: heads disciform or radiant (discoid); involucre cylindric to hemispheric; phyllaries graduated in 6--many series, generally +- ovate, scarious-margined, tip appendages fringed to spiny; receptacle flat, epaleate, long-bristly. Flower: corolla white to pink, purple, or yellow, tube long, distally bent; outer flowers generally sterile, corolla 3--10-lobed, +- bilateral, reduced, inconspicuous or expanded and spreading, +- ray-like; inner flowers bisexual, corolla +- radial; anther base tailed, tip oblong; style tip cylindric, minutely hairy distal to hairy ring, branches very short. Fruit: +- barrel-shaped, +- compressed, attached +- at side; pappus 0 or generally of stiff, unequal bristles or narrow scales.
Species In Genus: +- 500 species: especially Eurasia, northern Africa; some cultivated. Etymology: (Greek: plant name associated with Chiron, a centaur) Note: Many noxious or invasive weeds. Centaurea nigrescens Willd. not naturalized. [Jepson]

Uses of Related Sp.


Cultivation

"Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[1, 200]. Prefers a moist well-drained fertile soil and a sunny position[200]. Tolerates dry, low fertility and alkaline soils[200]. Plants are hardy to at least -20oc[187]. A very ornamental plant[1], there are some named varieties[187]. The plants have creeping rhizomes and form spreading patches[187]. A good bee plant[108]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers." [PFAF]

Propagation

"Seed - sow March in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in August in a greenhouse, overwintered under cover, and planted out in spring. Division in autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring. This should be done at least once every three years in order to maintain the plants vigour. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 5 - 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer." [PFAF]


References


Page last modified on Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:25 AM