Astringent and beautiful
Blue cornflower petals (Centaurea cyanus) are also known as bluebottle, part of the knapweed family.
They are normally bright blue but occasionally they can be white, pink, or purple. Cornflowers grow in cornfields and waste areas of land in Europe and western Asia. Centaurea is named after the legendary centaur, Chiron, famed for his knowledge of herbs.
The flowers are cut as they open and are dried whole or as florets. The florets can be used for pot-pourri. Herbalists use cornflowers as an astringent herb, which is said to reduce inflammation, treat eye conditions, minor wounds and mouth ulcers.
Extracts of cornflowers are used in hair shampoos and rinses.