This genus includes the well-known cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), which is a hardy annual growing to about 2/2 ft. with double blue, mauve, pink, carmine or white flowers. There are also dwarf varieties which reach about 1 ft., notably the blue Jubilee Gem, Rose Gem which is rose-pink and Lilac Lady (lilac). All are somewhat liable to mildew in very hot weather when grown in dry positions, and although they flourish almost anywhere it is worth working in peat, compost etc., to help prevent dryness at the roots.

Centaurea candidissima is a perennial silver-leaved edging plant growing to about 1 ft. It is best sown in March and wintered in a cold frame.

Centaurea macrocephala is a fine perennial for the herbaceous border, bearing large globular heads of bright yellow flowers, 3 to 4 in. across. The foliage is light green, resembling a dock. It blooms in July, reaching 4—5 ft. Increase by division in early March.

Centaurea moschata is a hardy annual known as sweet sultan. It grows to 18 in. with yellow, pink, lilac or white flowers. C. m. imperialis is the giant sweet sultan with larger blooms and longer stems. It is excellent for cutting.

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