Plant of merit: Centaurea montana

WHAT: Centaurea montana ‘Blue’ is also known as mountain cornflower.

It is native to the southern mountain ranges of Europe but is now grown worldwide.

It is a perennial plant, returning every year, and begins blooming in April in the Northwest climate continuing through late summer.

If deadheaded after blooming, it will rebloom in the fall and is an excellent cut flower for bouquets with its 3-inch diameter fringed blue blooms.

Bumblebees and butterflies love this plant as do the people who grow it, as it requires little care and no fertilizer. Avoid rich soils.

SUN OR SHADE: Centaurea montana performs best in full sun.

SIZE: It is a very manageable 24-inch tall, making it perfect for the midpoint of the border to help create a layered effect. It grows to approximately 30- to 36-inches wide.

SEE IT: At the WSU Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at Jennings Memorial Park, 6915 Armar Road, Marysville.

Sandra Schumacher

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