Know about the Cornflower

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Cornflower Quick Facts
Name: Cornflower
Scientific Name: Centaurea cyanus
Origin Cornflower is indigenous to Europe.
Colors Yellowish
Shapes Flat
Taste Resembles sweet cucumber
Health benefits Treatment for constipation, Mouth wash for ulcers, Eye wash for conjunctivitis, Promote digestion, Detoxify liver, Helpful for stress and anxiety
Cornflower is a member of daisy family renowned for its vibrant blue flowers. Cornflower is also called Bachelors Button, Blue Cap, Blue Bottle, Blue poppy, Blueblow, Bluebonnets, Boutonniere Flower, Bluebottle, Cornflower, Cyani Flower, Hurtsickle, Garden Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button Knapweed and Garden knapweed. Scientifically known as Centaurea cyanus, is a robust and herbaceous annual plant growing to the height of 20 to 85 cm with greygreen, slender and distally branched stem. Leaves are alternate, gray-tomentose measuring 3 to 10 cm. Flower heads are rounded or flat topped cymbiform arrays and about 2.5 to 3.5 cm diameter borne on long peduncles surrounded by campanulate involucral bracts. Phyllaries are ovate to oblong, green and tomentose to subglabrous. Margins and erect appendages are white to dark brown or black fringed with slender teeth. Ray florets are violet blue to blue, 25 to 35, obliquely funnel shaped with tip lobed.  Disc florets are tubular, violet blue in the center of capitula. It bears an elliptic and flattish fruit which is yellowish and fine haired about 3.5 to 4 mm long having short tip and stiff unequal bristles. Cornflower plant thrives well in common garden soil but prefers well drained rich soil and sunny locations. It is able to withstand arid and low fertility, alkaline soils. When the plants are well established, it could tolerate drought. Being an ornamental plant, it consists of several named varieties. Cornflower is able to hold the color even when dried.


Lower leaves have a curved lobe but the most of the leaves are narrow lanceolate which grows in whorls around long stems.


The center flowers are darker and are surrounded by overlapping bracts about 1.5 inches across. Mostly Cornflowers are true blue but could be found in the shades of white, lavender, pink, maroon and two-tones.

Traditional uses

  • The infusion is used for treating constipation, dropsy, kidney ailments and mouth wash for ulcers as well as bleeding gums.
  • The eyewash prepared from cornflower blossoms for conjunctivitis, eye ailments and tired, strained or puffy eyes.
  • It improves resistance to infections.
  • The tea is used for promoting digestion and also detoxifies liver.
  • Flower bud infusion is used for treating urinary tract infections.
  • When used internally as a tea helps to ward off common cold.
  • Seeds infusion is used in Europe to cure constipation.
  • Apply the petals infusion internally for treating yeast infections.
  • It stops bleeding in open wounds as well as bleeding gums.
  • Apply the crushed leaves as a poultice to aching muscles, bruises and inflamed joints.
  • The infusion of flower heads (dried or fresh) is used as a wash on scalp to eliminate dandruff.
  • It possesses astringent qualities which help to treat dark circles and puffy eyes.
  • The flowers paste is useful in bruising.
  • It is helpful for ulcers and lowers the appearance of wrinkles.
  • The leaves decoction is used for rheumatic complaints and if used as a hair rinse treats scalp eczema.
  • It is used to regulate menstrual disorder.
  • Its infusion can be used in the treatment of mouth ulcers and bleeding gums.
  • It is used to cure irritated and inflamed skin.
  • It is used in strengthening nails and prevents nail infections.
  • It is beneficial for those people experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and other nervous system disorders.


  • People having an allergy should completely avoid it.
  • Consult the health practitioner by the people having other illnesses, disorders and medical conditions.

How to Eat         

  • Flowers are consumed raw or cooked or added to salads and vegetables.
  • Young shoots are also consumed.
  • It is also used in desserts.
  • Petals are used in cornbread muffins.
  • It is used as a garnish.

Other Facts        

  • The leaves are arranged alternately on stem.
  • Flowers are arranged in flower heads on top of flowering stem. Flower heads are located centrally and is made of disk florets.
  • Flowers are found in various shades of blue, pink, white, purple, red and maroon color.
  • Cornflower could produce single and double blooms and contains both reproductive organs.
  • Flowers being a rich source of nectar attract butterflies and bees which are the main pollinators of the plant.
  • It is propagated by seed.
  • It is also used as a source of blue dye.
  • Cornflower is regarded as the national flower of Estonia.
  • It is an annual plant which completes its life cycle in one year.
  • The edible flowers have sweet cucumber like taste.
  • The honey prepared from these flowers is regarded to be the best.






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