Bachelors Button – Aurelia Schanzenbacher Sisters Fine Arts – Canvas
Bachelor’s button, Centaurea cyanus, is a European wildflower that has naturalized across the United States. It is a member of the Asteraceae family that includes asters, chicory, daisies, mums, sunflowers, and yarrow. It’s a vigorous plant commonly found growing among the grain crops in farmers’ fields. Also known as cornflower, its delicate blossoms have been charming country folks for generations. In some states it is considered invasive since it generally grows wild.
One of the predominantly blue cornflower variety is blue and is commonly referred as a cornflower. The flower is also available in shades of pink, purple, red and white, as well as in bicolor. The plant is suited for cool season and is considered an annual. Because it self-sows on viable ground, it gives the impression of being a perennial, returning each year in all its glory. Mature heights range from one to three feet. Blooming begins anytime from late spring to early summer, and generally continues until the first frost. Sturdy grayish-green stalks and leaves support delicate, multi-petaled disks. Each measures approximately one inch across. This is a robust plant that’s so easy to grow, it’s recommended widely for beginning gardeners.
Historically, the cornflower has been used as a symbol of fortitude, resilience, hope, and love. In Estonia and Germany, it has been adopted as a national flower. In France, it is a remembrance flower to commemorate victory and honor veterans. The ALS/MND Association chose the bold blue bachelor’s button as their national flower of hope. And the Corning Glass Company adorned their ground-breaking, oven-safe cookware, Corningware, with its familiar image. Many a heartsick young gentleman has worn a boutonniere of blue cornflower, believing that if it wilted, he would be the sad victim of unrequited love.