(Centaurea macrocephala) Info
This native of the
Caucusus is a perennial in zones 3-9 (much of the US). It
flowers on stalks up to 5 feet high from May-July, attracting
butterflies. The 3-4 inch wide flowers and unusual,
basket-like buds are good for drying and make nice wands, because the
stalk is good and thick but is not prickly like most thistles. The
spikes are blunt, so you could consider this a pushover of a Mars plant. The
plant forms a clump that can produce 40 large flowers; each flower
makes over 200 seeds. This would make a great partner for Artichoke thistle,
which gets purple thistle-type blooms.
How to grow it: Sow
in spring or summer. Plant the seed as deep as the seed is wide to
germinate in 2 weeks. Transplant to full sun and soil on the dry side.
This plant reseeds if it is happy, so cut off flowers if you
do not want a lot of babies. General