Reddish Vale Country Park
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Cornflower is a native annual, sometimes overwintering.
Found over most of the British Isles, most commonly as a corn field weed.
Grows to a height of 80cm.
Cornflower was common but is now much reduced due to cleaner seed-grain supplies.
The Cornflower (Centaurea Cyanus) also known as Bachelor's Button, Basket Flower and Boutonniere Flower is a small annual flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe.
In the past it often grew as a weed in crop fields. It is now endangered in its native habitat by agricultural intensification, particularly over-use of herbicides destroying its habitat; in the United Kingdom it has declined from 264 recorded sites to just 3 sites in the last 50 years. It is however, through introduction as an ornimental plant in gardens and a seed contaminant in crop seed, now naturalised in many other parts of the world, including North America and parts of Australia.
It is grown as an ornimental plant in gardens, where several cultivars have been selected with varying pastel colours, including pink and purple. It is also occasionally used as a culinary ornament.
The Blue Cornflower has been the national flower of Estonia since 1968 and symbolizes dailybread to Estonians, it is also the national flower of Poland.
Cornflowers have been used and prized historically for its blue pigment. Cornflowers are often used as an ingredient in tea and is famous in the Lady Grey blend of Twinings.
In folklore, Cornflowers were worn by young men in love; if the flower faded too quickly, it was taken as a sign that the man's love was unrequited.
In herbalism a decoction of Cornflower is effective in treating conjunctivitis, and as a wash for tired eyes.