Order the 2016 Catalog printed on genuine paper for $4. Free with plant order.
Add to Cart
Digging Dog Nursery
a retail and mail order
plant nursery specializing in
unusual and hard to find
perennials, ornamental grasses,
shrubs, trees, and vines.
31101 Middle Ridge Rd.
Albion, CA 95410
Tues 10 am – 4 pm
Wed. 10:30 am – 4 pm
Thu. 12 pm – 4 pm
Fri. & Sat. 10:30 am – 4 pm
web site by
at Digging Dog
Including Centaurea atropurpurea, Centaurea hypoleuca, Centaurea macrocephala, Centaurea pulcherrima, and Centaurea ruthenica
Centaurea’s heritage extends all the way back to ancient Greek mythology when Achilles’s wise teacher, Chiron the Centaur was wounded by one of Hercules’ poisoned arrows and subsequently cured by this herb’s miraculous healing powers.
Equally at home in a present day border or a more naturalized setting, our hardy undemanding selections paint a bright picture inside as well. The long lasting boisterous blooms are celebrated cut flowers, bringing high-spirited accents to both fresh and dried arrangements.
Appreciative of well draining “sweet” soil, the ever amenable Knapweed withstands some drought, but not wet, wintertime feet.
View a slideshow of plant images from this genus
Milling about the mountainous meadows of Europe’s Carpathian Range, this garden rarity spotlights large ruby red thistle-styled blooms bolstered by impressively tall sturdy stems. Even before the marvelous flowers appear, intricately detailed buds with brown-tipped green scales and curvy white spines beg a closer glance. A delicate-looking rosette of long feathery leaves—silver-gray and narrowly cut—completes the picture, while yellow blooming Centaurea ruthenica makes an ideal companion.
Blooms June – August.
Size: 4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.
Centaurea atropurpurea (P-1646)
Add to Cart
Cradled by silvery, paper-thin bracts, a vivacious summertime showing of deep rose-pink thistlelike blooms with pale centers promises a fall encore when deadheaded regularly.
Long green leaves—deeply divided, lobed and powdery white beneath—line stiff-backed stems, bolstering the fragrant high energy performance.
A magnet for butterflies and gardeners alike, this carefree Centaurea exhibits a compact, not-so-tall profile that can be featured atop a wall or near the border’s front, obliges dry soils and keeps us coming back well after the flowers have faded to relish its long lasting, decorative seed heads.
Size: 2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Centaurea hypoleuca ‘John Coutts’ (P-1392)
Add to Cart
Great Golden Knapweed
An overgrown, sun-struck relative of the Bachelor Button, this “big-headed” native of the Caucasus Mountains has so many good qualities you’ll soon be inviting it into your garden. A medium green, rowdy mass of oversized, wavy-edged lanceolate leaves attached to stout stems gives way to intriguing, rust-colored buds as big as a chicken’s egg.
Scaled by papery bracts, the bud’s rotund profile opens to offer a large, bright yellow thistle, a cheerful mop of threadlike petals bursting with sunshine and color. Back this easy-to-grow cut flower with Cotinus ‘Grace’ and surround it with Nepeta ‘Pool Bank’.
Blooms late July–mid-September.
Size: 3'–4' high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.
Centaurea macrocephala (P-0834)
Add to Cart
Ringed with spidery ultra-fringed tubular florets, the
dark-as-midnight blooms are presented singularly,
strutting sumptuous reddish purple shades on tall
staunch stems. Black embroidered buds, intriguing
seed heads and silver felted new growth further
enhance the tidy clump of broadly lanceolate green
leaves that sport minute pearly hairs. A fan of lean
chalky sites, this fanciful bloomer appreciates periodic
pruning and works best as a filler in a Mediterranean
planting, cottage garden or a naturalized setting,
where it will bring on the bees, butterflies and other
Size: 18" high x 18"–2' wide; hardy to zone 3.
Centaurea montana ‘Jordy’ (P-1797)
Email me when this plant is available
Pink Bachelor Button
Touted as one of the prettiest species of the genus, Centaurea pulcherrima celebrates brilliant rose-colored flowers with silvery yellow bracts unfurling from large papery buds. This rarely offered robust perennial hosts handsome narrow pinnate grayish green leaves with hairy white undersides. Endemic to the Caucasus Mountains, Pink Bachelor Button makes a sterling prospect for stone walls, sun bathed rock gardens or even a bouquet.
Size: 16" high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 4.
Centaurea pulcherrima (P-1876)
Add to Cart
“A border flower of the highest merit,” is how British horticulturist, William Robinson once described this awe-inspiring Centaurea, and we couldn’t agree more! Crowning long straight green stems, the fluffy thistle-style heads in unique pale citron yellows and tissue-thin buff-colored bracts will attract more than a few admirers. These ample-sized, sublime-for-cutting blooms heighten a graceful ferny pedestal of rich green pointed leaves with gray undersides, narrow silhouettes and a refined countenance. Appreciative of adequately draining soil, the ever amenable Knapweed withstands some drought, but not wet winter feet.
Size: 3'–4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.
Centaurea ruthenica (P-1329)
Add to Cart
AVAILABLE MAY/JUNE 2016
Current Staff’s Favorite Plant
Our favorite plant this week: We love Viola ‘Rebecca’ for it's sweet, delectable scent and tidy compact clumps of dapper evergreen foliage. All are equally captivating, though no two are alike, each ebullient white flower showcases a creamy lemon flushed center and irregularly patterned, deep violet edges. This sweet smelling Viola should be ensconced near a well-traveled path or seating area, where its plentiful color flecked flowers can be easily relished ‘till the first hard frost.
More news, events, and favorite plants