Name: Cornflower

Scientific name: Centaurea cyanus

Category: Flowers

Nature Stars: 80

What are nature stars?

About: Once an arable weed, this plant is now most likely to occur as a garden escape or as part of intentional wildflower seeding. Its strongholds remain roadside verges, scrub and wasteland. In flower June to August.

How to identify: Beautifully shaped blue petals, somewhat triangular with frayed edges, branch out from a deeper purple blue, almost fuzzy centre. Stems and leaves are long and pointy with hairy, blackish buds at the tips.

Where: Widespread but scarce and declining

Fantastic fact: The name cornflower somes from its association with arable or 'corn' fields where its reputation as a pest led to its decline as herbicides and agricultural intensification drove it out.

Photograph credit: Richard Burkmar

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