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AGROSTEMMA githago

Image of Agrostemma githago

James Burghardt

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Botanical Name

AGROSTEMMA githago

Plant Common Name

Corn Cockle

General Description

The delicate scalloped pink flowers of common corn cockle bloom bloom from early to late summer above slender stems lined with fine, pale green leaves. This southeastern European native self-sows prodigiously and has become naturalized across most of North America in all but a few western states and provinces. Here it is most commonly found growing on roadsides, cultivated fields and other disturbed sites.

The fuzzy stems of this summer annual are lined with slender, opposite leaves with bulbous bases. When summer conditions are warm and favorable, delicate, five-petaled, pink to pale pink flowers are produced at the stem tips. These attract many insect pollinators including bees and butterflies. The seed capsules that follow are filled with seed that typically germinate in fall, overwinter as young plants and bloom the following season.

Full sun and average soil with good drainage is needed for good health and flowering. Plants look best when provided regular water but can withstand brief periods of drought. Natural populations are commonly found in the fields and hills of countries like Greece where weather conditions tend to be drier.

Common corn cockle is an airy, attractive summer annual, but it's tendency to become weedy should dissuade gardeners from planting it.

Characteristics

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Hot Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes