Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Useful Flower

At the moment the bees are busy buzzing around the perennial cornflowers (centaurea montana) in our garden. Apparently these are wildflowers, originally from the mountain regions of France and Germany, but we have always had loads of them in our garden; they spread so easily and sometimes, when the first flowers are over, they will return later with more. I think they are really pretty and encourage them. They are early blooming this year, when we first came here thirteen years ago they didn't start to flower until mid June now they appear in mid-May.

As well as attracting bees and butterflies the flower has other uses too, I've never tried it but apparently you can (as with nasturtium flowers - which I have eaten) put them into salads. You can also (see links) make tea with them and they are supposed to have soothing and astringent qualities that can be used for natural medicines. This seems to apply to both types of cornflower. What a very useful plant to have in the garden.

An added bonus is that there are so many of them that you don't feel guilty taking one or two from the bees to put indoors.


  1. They are so pretty..I did not know that they were edible.
    I love your blue jug too.

  2. I have cornflowers in my garden too. They are very underrated I think. I love their centres and the raggy edges and the buds look interesting too. Cornflower blue. I saw a garden with some almost white cornflowers in them this morning. The were very pretty and unusual to look at.

  3. Thanks for sharing that!
    They look so pretty in your gorgeous jug!
    Love Lou xxx

  4. I must agree it's a very useful and lovely flower:-)

  5. I love the colour of cornflowers. I didnt realise you could eat them. Ive planted nasturtium this year as Ive never eaten that either. Congrats on the 30 years by the way. What month is your anniversary? Have you got anything special planned?

  6. lou and hannah, welcome and thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment:)

    sal, thought you might like the jug:)

    simone, my favourite flower colours are blue and white - white cornflowers sound gorgeous.

    diane, we have seeded nasturtiums in hanging baskets this year so hoping they will grow. Anniversary has gone I'm afraid - we went to the theatre:)

  7. Rosie, I love what you have done with your blog and these beautiful flowers match it perfectly...

  8. Pam, thankyou - glad you like the different colour scheme:)

  9. Your cornflowers are beautiful! I don't know if we have them around here or not... I do believe I've seen something along these lines. Will be on the lookout! Love your photos!