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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Coming Up Cornflowers

This spring and summer, we had a wide and colorful variety of bachelor’s button (or cornflowers) in the Frog & PenguINN wildflower meadow. Most returned as “volunteers” as these annual flowering plants have a tendency to self-seed. Cornflowers are in the family Asteraceae and grew as weeds in crop fields in their native Europe


While the classic bachelor’s button is true blue, the flower comes in a variety of colors, from pastel pink and lavender to deep purple and white with other colors. Blooms can range from 1 to 3 feet tall.


The bachelor button connotation refers from an early use when bachelors would wear the flowers in suit coat buttonholes when courting. In folklore, cornflowers were worn by young men in love. If the flower faded too quickly, it was seen as a sign that the man’s love was not returned. 


The blue cornflower was one of the national symbols of Germany. This is in part based on a story that Queen Louise of Prussia was fleeing Berlin, pursued by Napoleon's forces and hid her children in a cornflower field, weaving cornflower wreaths to keep them quiet. 


The cornflower was the favorite flower of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy. It was worn by his son, John F. Kennedy, Jr. at his wedding in tribute to his father. Cornflowers were also used in the funeral wreath made for Pharaoh Tutankhamen.


Flowers are edible and have a sweet, cucumber-like taste. They can be used to make tea and have been used in traditional herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory and for treating conjunctivitis. Cornflowers attract bees and butterflies because of their high nectar content.


20 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

very nice, I shall try the tea

Sandra said...

i did not know they came in all these colors. i think i like the blue ones best but it is hard to choose. i liked the story of hiding the children in the cornflowers.

Blackberry Lane said...

Beautiful flowers and interesting info. Thank you and enjoy your day!!!

A Quiet Corner said...

Although my Bachelor's Buttons are a perennial, yours are just beautiful!...:)JP

possum said...

I think I need to plant a few of those. But I have so little sun now that my trees are growing back...
Or maybe I will just enjoy yours! Much easier!

L. D. said...

I remember you blue cornflowers from last year. It must be beautiful to look out over your meadow when they are all in bloom. I question myself why don't I have any of these planted. We had them come up every year on the farm as a kid.

W. Latane Barton said...

The cornflower is one of my favorites and I knew nothing about them. So happy you 'educated' me. Quite interesting facts, indeed.

Montanagirl said...

Stunning flower photos! (I broke my own rule today of posting and commenting only once a week). I had to post a fence. LOL

Gail Dixon said...

Good to know they attract bees and butterflies. Will have to plant some! The blooms are gorgeous as well. Pretty photos!!

Emma Springfield said...

I wish I had a knack for growing flowers. Bachelor buttons are beautiful flowers. I also did not know that they were any color but blue. Now I am picturing all the colors you have in a lovely colorful bouquet. Splendid!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Interesting post and lovely photos! I really enjoyed learning more about this pretty flower.

Kay G. said...

In the Spring, we see some pretty cornflowers which grow beside the railroad tracks on our way to Stone Mountain. I try to make my husband take a photo of them, but it is tough from a moving vehicle!! Ours are blue and such a blue, I LOVE it!

Michelle said...

One of my favorite flowers. My mom always grew them.

William Kendall said...

They're gorgeous flowers!

Anvilcloud said...

There is a Persian Cornflower. It's not like Bachelor's Buttons. I don't advise growing it as it gets quite unruly. :)

diane b said...

Great post I learnt lots about cornflowers. I haven't seen any here but that doesn't mean much, I'm not familiar with all flowers.

Doris said...

So pretty!! Always would have liked to have some but never did. Now we have too much shade, I think. Planting is a whole different ball game here =)

Debbie said...

gorgeous colors, really gorgeous blooms!!!!!!

Daisy said...

These are beautiful! Such pretty colors!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Interesting info on the cornflower. I do love the white one with the pink centers.

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