Cornflower. Centaurea cyanus.
Originally an archeophyte denizen (explained below) to Ireland, cornflower didn’t survive the agricultural revolution. These seeds were grown here in NI, but are not of native Irish-origin.
It’s an hardy annual to 90cms. Stunning bright blue flowers, July to September, composed of 8 trumpet florets sticking out from the flower head perpendicular to the stem. The flowers are loved by bees of all kinds with a nectar sugar content at 34% and the seeds are very attractive for your garden birds, particularly Goldfinches.
This seed was grown on land classed as being in organic conversion, and from seed that was grown with no chemical input.
How to grow:
Sow seeds in March/April in modules and transplant out when around 7cms tall after hardening off. Or sow outside in situ in April/May in a weed free seed bed and thin to about 10cms x 10cms for a tight colourful display. Suitable for neutral to alkaline, well drained soil. Tolerates drought once established.
Likes full sun. Protect young seedlings and plants from slugs.
Ways to use them:
For display and to feed insects and birds. The petals are edible and add a splash of colour to your salads. Many medicinal uses are cited.
Native to European mainland and possibly also the island of Britain.
An archaeophyte denizen is the designation given when it’s thought a plant was introduced before the year 1500 and most likely through human activity.
Avg contents: 100 seeds.