About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Centaurea macrocephala

I really like Centaurea macrocephala. To me most Centaurea look like little pineapples when in bud and this one especially so. The flowers are bright yellow and the base of the 'pineapple' is covered with shiny, fuzzy brown scales. The plants 3-4 feet tall and bloom in early June. The flowers can be a couple inches across and should be cut while still in this 'pineapple' stage.
I started about 25 of these five years ago and they have faithfully come back year after year. This year I decided I could use a few more and got another packet of seeds from J.L. Hudson for $2 - what a deal.


ypsidixit said...

Wow! I never heard of this flower before! Cool!

Does the name mean "Big-Headed Centaur"? Funny in English... :)

Kirk said...

They are very cool but I have no idea why they are called Centaurea. Trying to imagine what inspired some of the Latin names can be pretty funny. My favorite garden writer, Henry Mitchell, wrote that Verbascum bombyciferum, "possibly means 'carrying a bomb' though my Latin was never very good."