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Around 500 species is the knapweed (Centaurea), which originally comes from America and now occurs mainly in Europe, the Mediterranean or in the Far East. The cornflower is one of these species.
Within the family of the Knapweed there are one-, two- or multi-year variants. They can reach heights between 20 cm and 3 meters and show themselves in completely different appearance. Note: Flake flowers can be regionally protected and must not be picked!
Special features of the knapweed
Basically, every knapweed, no matter which species it is, shows its flower in the so-called head shape. That is, they show at least ten flowers and the small leaflets sit there with small appendages. Only with the Carduoidaea - Plants of a subfamily - it is tubular flowers. Most commonly, the knapweed occurs in Central Europe as a cornflower, which is declining sharply due to the monoculture. The meadow-knapweed is also common - depending on the region you can find the scabious-knapweed and the black knapweed.
Example: Mountain Knapweed
The Mountain Knapweed (Centaurea montana) belongs also in the family of the Knapweed. On average, it reaches a height between 20cm and 50cm and forms a so-called one-headed stalk. It has oval leaves with a smooth rim, which look slightly greyish and rough. While the petals are red with blue border colors, the bracts are green.
Incidentally, in folk medicine the mountain knapweed was used as medicine.
Centaurea montana is a perennial plant that occurs by name in the mountains of central to southern Europe. There it can be found at altitudes between 500 meters and 2,200 meters. Most often it can be found in the subalpine stages of the mountains, for example in Austria in the so-called upper montane locations of Styria or Carinthia. She loves light forests and fresh meadows. At these locations it blooms between May and August.
Knapweed varieties in the garden
Flockenblumen can be planted by sowing also in the own garden. The best known is the annual cornflower, the more wild variety is the mountain knapweed. For spring, the spring is just right and already in March, the seeds can be sown in a cold frame. A few weeks later, it is also available in garden centers as a container plant and can be planted in this form at any time immediately in the garden. Her pastel flowers in pink to blue hues enrich every flowerbed. The flowers appear between May and July.
As a location in the garden are a bed with nutrient-rich soil and a sunny location just right. The knapweed does not put more demands in its place. The knapweed looks very beautiful in a cottage garden, here it fits in with the other typical flowers such as lady's mantle, larkspur or lupins.
Tip: The knapweed can also be propagated by dividing the rootstock.
The Mountain Knapweed is found in several variants, they also differ in the color of their flower. The white mountain knapweed, for example, tolerates rather a drought phase and blooms again and again during the summer. The pink mountain knapweed even smells of peaches and is therefore especially liked by lovers of fragrant plants in the garden. Since the mountain knapweed is not only in different colors, but also in different stature heights, should also be taken a look at this detail. With this, for example, the bed can be planted in the background, so the garden owner has optimally planted his land and can not only look forward to different times, but also to different species of mountain knapweed.
For the background planting the high growing and purple one is particularly well suited Centaurea montana "Merel", which is not only the darkest of its kind but also high growing. It can grow up to half a meter in height and also unfolds a lovely scent, especially in the sun. Also the C. montana "Purple Rose", which is not so dark, but rather lilac and slightly feathered flowers, can be planted in the background due to a similar height.
The size Centaurea macrocephala - also known as Giant Knapweed - looks almost like an artichoke. The large flower heads sit on thick stems and shine in a bright yellow. It can reach heights of up to 150 cm. The stems can be cut off and worked into autumnal bouquets. Once again the individual varieties at a glance:
- Mountain Knapweed in blue
- Dark Knapweed
- pale yellow variety especially for planting on slopes
- Caucasian flake blood, suitable for a wild garden
- Red Mountain Knapweed, a rare form
- Giant flower knapweed
- Wig-Knapweed with "blond" hairs outside on the flower heads
When the flowers are planted in the home garden, they should be placed in the location that best suits their species. This should be sunny to half-shady, although partial shade is not as favorable for flowering as sun. The soil of the site should be nutrient-rich, so it is advisable to use compost in spring. When cornflowers are seeded, spring is naturally the best time. From March, the seeds can be sown in the cold frame, a direct sowing in the flowerbed is useful only from May. If you buy a container plant in the garden trade, it can be planted in any frost-free season. Due to their graceful size, the corresponding small-sized varieties are the most beautiful if they are planted in the group.
By removing faded parts, the re-emergence of the flowers can be promoted. Radical pruning after flowering can also stimulate lush growth. If stalks are cut off for the vase, you get a long fresh blooms in the living room. Tip: do not cut back in the autumn, but let move in promotes growth in the spring.
Not only are snowflakes busy and thankful, they are also resistant to pests. Only if there are more rainy days and sunless days during the year, the knapweed can be affected by mildew.
Conclusion of the editorship
The knapweed is due to its diversity, a plant that can be planted to everyone's taste in the garden. Wild plants should not be dug up. You can either sow them or buy them as a young plant in a container. They are easy to multiply by dividing the rhizome. Depending on the species of knapweed, it can be used in a garden in different ways. Here, however, the preference for sun and a nutrient-rich soil should be considered.
Tips for quick readers:
- Flake flowers are available in many different varieties.
- They reach stature heights starting from 20 cm, the largest becomes 150 cm high.
- The colors range from yellow to pink, purple, purple to purple.
- The annual cornflower is the best known of the family.
- Knapweeds are perennial.
- They can be used by sowing or as a young plant.
- They can be multiplied by root division.
- They love sun and nutrient-rich soil.
- Flake flowers are suitable for near-natural gardens, cottage gardens, gravel gardens, flower meadows, flowerbeds and much more.
- A common species of flake flowers in this country are the cornflower and the meadow knapweed. All species have a wildflower character. The cornflower comes from Sicily and has probably been spread with grain already at the pile-dwelling time, especially in and on cornfields.
- The soil should be well drained, calcareous and humus rich for the cornflower.
- The flower prefers a sunny to half shady sheltered site.
- Temporarily the plant tolerates some dryness, but should otherwise be watered regularly.
- When watering, do not wet the leaves to prevent mildew.
- If necessary, the cornflower can handle heavy soil.
- High species are best supported with a perennial holder so they do not fall over.
- The propagation takes place by sowing in spring or autumn outdoors. Also you can share the perennials.