at Digging Dog
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 horticultural author, 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 just 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 more refined countenance.
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
This glamorous beacon for the late season garden is our favorite plant this week. Hydrangea aspera ‘Rocklon’ with it's large pink clouds of buds and pinkish bronze, downy new growth bring a soft look to this noble, rarely cultivated Hydrangea. Mounted on stout fuzzy stems, wide, hairy serrated foliage, with red-hued petioles, provides a graceful deep green foil for the enormous mauve lacecaps ringed by white bracts. Adequate water and bright shade will ensure ‘Rocklon’s prosperity, while Corydalis and Stylophorum diphyllum offer contrasting texture beneath. (S-0421)
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