Bachelor's Buttons, 'Florist Blue Boy'
(Centaurea cyanus) It’s probably not the norm for most people to delve into the nomenclature of their flowers but we think it’s pretty darn cool. Because guess what? Those Latin names, they all mean something! But first things first... these 2-3' brilliant icy blue double-flowered beauties brought to America in the 17th cent from England were once a common field weed (hence another of their names “cornflower”) but are now quite hard to find in the wild. Edible petals retain their color after drying and can be used as a compress for your tired, swollen eyes and as an ingredient for a facial steam. Fresh or dried they are lovely added to salads, tea mixes, cake decorations and anywhere a touch of blue would be welcomed including your watercolor paintings. They are a drought-tolerant self-sowing annual and will happily naturalize. An attractor of bees and butterflies and, as you may gather from the Latin name, many a fine story. According to Greek legend, Cyanus was a youth smitten with Chloris (Flora), the goddess of flowers. Such was his devotion that the lad spent every moment gathering blue flowers for her alter, neglecting his own health and alas, perished in a field of millet. In a show of love, she then turned him into the flower itself which just so happens to grow wonderfully among grains. (hence it’s persistence in romantic lore to this day.) As for Centaurea, this derives from the great Centaur Chiron who was gravely wounded by an arrow dipped in the toxic blood of the Hydra. He cured his festering wound by making a compress of bachelor button petals. There’s so much more! I will leave it to you to gather (or not) more stories as you gaze upon these lovely, long-lasting, pollinator-attracting and cold-tolerant beauties.
60 days. UO
Packet: 75 seeds
Product Code: BAB-FB-pkt
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Sow indoors 4 weeks before your last frost.
Transplant out after last frost or after your last hard frost.
May direct seed in early Spring.
Note: Cold hardy to light frosts.
10-12" between plants in rows 15" apart.
7-14 days @ soil temp 60-70F
Average. Grow in all soils although well-drained and evenly moist soil is preferred.
While not absolutely necessary, these definitely benefit from support to keep them upright and tidy.
Edible flowers are perfect for tea and sprinkling on cakes and salads.
Harvest flowers or branching stems when 1/4-1/3 open and expect a vase life of 7 days.