at Digging Dog
By C T Johansson (Own work) ‘CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)’, via Wikimedia Commons
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.
“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)
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Other selections in this genus
Current Staff’s Favorite Plant
Our favorite plant this week - Not only do we love Liatris 'Kobold', but it's coveted by florists, butterflies & bees for itsl showy, vibrant hued flowers. ‘Kobold’ means “goblin”—and big-headed it is. This compact cultivar has a smaller stature than others of its species, and its erect stems rise solidly from the earth. Grassy foliage plays host to an outstanding bristle of rosy lilac blooms. A vibrant garden guest, contrast ‘Kobold’ against Phlomis fruticosa’s yellow blooms and harmonize with the pinkish panicles of Calamagrostis brachytricha.
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