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CENTAUREA dealbata

Image of Centaurea dealbata

Maureen Gilmer

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

CENTAUREA dealbata

Plant Common Name

Persian Cornflower, Whitewash Cornflower

General Description

Summertime finds the Persian cornflower showing off its rosy-pink flowers with white centers above its light, gray-green foliage. This undemanding, clump-forming perennial is native to the Caucusus - the highlands between the Caspian and Black Sea and nearby eastern Turkey.

Each leaf is oblong and narrow with two deep lobes on the sides, light green above and grayish green beneath. In midsummer, the rosy-pink flowers appear on stem tips. The central, flat disk of the blossom is pink and white, while the ray petals are shaggy and fluffy, radiating outward. Butterflies and bees flock to the flowers.

Grow Persian cornflower in full to partial sun exposures and well-drained soils. The flowers are good for cutting. Stake the stems to keep them upright and deadhead spent blooms to encourage reblooming. This plant can be prone to powdery mildew in very humid summer areas or if irrigation sprinklers douse the leaves. Use it in the sunny mixed border or in a mixed meadow among other drought tolerant ornamentals. The popular cultivar 'Steenbergii' has darker red-pink flowers on a shorter plant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    24"-36" / 61.0cm - 91.4cm

  • Width

    20"-24" / 50.8cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Eastern Europe, Turkey

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Rose

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • 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

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No