November 21, 2017

Perennial Bachelor

Centaurea montana - Mountain bluet

Janine Pineo Photo | Centaurea montana - Mountain bluet

Centaurea montana - Mountain bluet

Janine Pineo Photo | Centaurea montana - Mountain bluet

One look at those airy blue-purple cornflowers in full bloom and one is smitten with Centaurea montana. Called mountain bluet for its range in its native Europe and perennial bachelor’s button for its relationship to the annual, C. montana is hardy to Zone 3 and is a prolific plant when grown in favorable conditions: full sun to lightly dappled shade and fertile soil that has ample moisture, but is never waterlogged. If you pick the dead blossoms off the plant after the first flowering in spring, you may even see a smaller, but welcome second round of blooming later in the summer. The plant can reach a couple of feet in height and is nicely full, but it is the large flowers that are the main attraction coming in at 2 inches in diameter. Can’t you tell that the bumblebees just love it?