Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Centaurea cyanus
bachelor's button, garden cornflower

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, ditches, meadows, wastelots, and other disturbed open areas at low elevations.

Flowers: May-October

Origin: Introduced from the Mediterranean region

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies, beetles, wasps


Annual or winter-annual, 2-12 dm. tall.


Leaves narrow, often linear, mostly entire, or the lower ones sometimes shallowly toothed or lobed, up to 13 cm. long and 1 cm. wide, excluding the lobes.


Heads terminating the branches; involucre 11-16 mm. high, its bracts with a narrow, dark lacerate fringe near the tip; flowers usually blue, but may be white, pink, or purple, the marginal ones with enlarged, irregular corollas; pappus bristles 2-3 mm. long; receptacle densely bristly.

Accepted Name:
Centaurea cyanus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 911. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Centaurea cyanus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Centaurea cyanus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Centaurea cyanus information.

E-Flora BC: Centaurea cyanus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Centaurea cyanus photos.

USDA Plants: Centaurea cyanus information.

38 photographs:
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