Bachelor Buttons

Blue Boy Bachelor Button
I plant Bachelor Buttons every year. Bachelor Buttons (Centaurea cyanus) are a member of the aster family. The flower is the ideal boutonniere because it fits perfectly in a lapel button hole and can last out of water.

Easily grown from seed, butterflies and bees are attracted to these hardy sun loving flowers. To keep the blooms going all summer, deadhead as the blooms fade. Centaurea is also known as cornflower because the plant grows wild in the grain fields of southern Europe.

When Napoleon forced Queen Louise of Prussia from Berlin, she hid her children in a cornfield and kept them entertained and quiet by weaving wreaths of cornflowers. One of her children, Wilheim, later became the emperor of Germany. Remembering his mother’s bravery, he made the cornflower a national emblem of unity.


It’s is an edible bloom with a mild sweet spicy taste, and can be used to garnish salads and desserts. It also makes a lovely everlasting, or dried flower. Though most often found in shades of blue, you will also find pinks, purples, whites and even an occasional black bachelor button.

Bachelor Buttons seed is easy to find in most garden center flower seed displays. Renee’s Garden Seeds, has a brilliant blue cornflower named ‘Blue Boy’ that is a cottage garden standout. I had great success with ‘Blue Boy’ in my container gardens last year. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, has the rare heirloom ‘Black Boy’ bachelor button with lovely, nearly black flowers.

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