Centaurea macrocephala



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Centaurea macrocephala

Large, fuzzy canary-yellow flowers soar up in summer and autumn, to make Centaurea macrocephala a dramatic background plant.
These large and shaggy blooms look like a flock of giant canaries who have all just got out of the shower on a “bad hair day”.

Yellow canaries with a bad hair day

And they make striking and excellent cut flowers as well as eye-catching garden display.

Prized by florists

So flower stems of  Centaurea macrocephala are prized by commercial florists.

Armenian Basket Flower

The common names of “Armenian Cornflower”, or “Armenian Basket Flower” fit well.
As this tough and hardy plant does indeed happily grow in wild in the rather challenging conditions of Armenia.
And the buds have beautiful texture and patterning – like a woven basket.

Soars up with giant flowers in the summer

Armenian Cornflower forms a low mound of broad leaves, and so the foliage remains quietly decorative at the back, until it soars up with strong stems and a flock of giant flowers in the summer.

Water-wise & drought resistant

Centaurea macrocephala relishes a position in Full Sun. Where it is hardy in heat, dry & frost.
It is perfect for water conscious gardeners and those in hot and dry areas.
Because it is drought resistant, and can withstand periods of dry and minimal watering, once established.

Tough & forgiving – do not overfeed

Tough Centaurea macrocephala also copes in poor soils.
It will make a go of it in a wide range of soil types from sandy, to clay, and all points between.
But whatever soil you have – do not overfeed or overfertilize your Armenian Cornflower.
Or it will grow heaps of foliage and give less of those spectacular, shaggy flower heads.

Low maintenance & bullet proof 

Centaurea macrocephala makes a low maintenance, evergreen perennial mound.
The only work required is to cut back the spent flower stems to the ground after blooming.
This tough plant is rarely if ever troubled by pests or diseases. The only real enemy is too much water or too much feed.

Rabbits & deer are not impressed but the bees are

Rabbits and deer do not have it high on their menu. So Centaurea macrocephala has a good ranking on the Rabbit and Deer Resistant chart.
But bees, small native honey-eating birds, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators love the flowers as a rich source of nectar and pollen in the hotter days.

In fact, once established in position, Centaurea macrocephala is best not disturbed. But instead left to quietly get on with its job of being decorative and virtually bullet proof.
The plant resents it’s stout roots being divided or moved.
Armenian Cornflower is in no way invasive or troublesome, and your gardening friends will just have to come to your place to share the beauty (or grow their own from seed).

Towering 1.2m High in flower (but a low mound when not blooming)  x 75cm Wide evergreen foliage clump approx.

*** Not permitted for entry into Tasmania.


Suitable for beginners & gardening with kids

Centaurea macrocephala can be sown at any time of year.
Scatter in garden / or sow in a punnet indoors for early plants.

Indoors for quick plants: First scatter the seed on the surface of good quality potting mix.
Then pat gently to the surface of the mix to ensure good contact.
Now cover the seeds with 2mm of sieved mix.

Then thoroughly moisten by standing the punnet in a shallow water bath.
And allow the moisture to percolate up to the surface of the mix from below.

Centaurea seed should be kept away from light for best germination, so cover punnet with cardboard or black plastic, except for when watering the punnet.

Now place the covered punnet in a warm position (not in direct sunlight).
You can use a heat mat if you have one, and this maintains optimum temperatures.

So temperatures of 18-24°C are best for rapid and optimum germination.

And continue to keep moist by misting the surface from a spray water bottle.

Then seedlings emerge in approx. 21-30 days.

Remove the dark cover as soon as germination begins and grow the seedings on ready to plant in the garden.

Seed Count: 10 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count and give a generous serve).

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