Of all the flowering plants on earth only a tiny minority, 5% are true blue. With their tall, friendly-looking 1″ blue flowers, Centaurea cyanus, also called Bachelors Buttons and Cornflowers, they stand out like little blue dots along the highway every June. They remind me of my mom’s blue eyes, so I bring her a bunch now and again.
Cornflowers come in shades of blue, violet, white, pink and red, though it is the blue which you find in naturalized throughout the world and most commonly in teas, cheeses, and as a colorful garnish on a salad. The extreme sweetness of their nectar makes them a favorite of bees, birds, and humans. Sadly, these plants are endangered in their native Europe due to increasing agricultural pressures, but there are efforts to bring them back from the brink.
Bloom time: May-June