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Monday, June 15, 2009

Centaurea nigra - Where did you come from?

In yesterday's blog I wrote about a perennial that has stolen my heart. There were two perennials that were amazing in the garden. This is the second one.

The strange thing is that although I always tell people to catalog their purchases with lots and lots of digital images, I can't find a single image of this beauty. In fact, I don't remember buying it but it's such a large healthy clump that it certainly isn't a volunteer.

I grow other Centaureas so I know what plant family I'm dealing with. Doing a little googling I'm pretty sure this is Centaurea nigra. Now I just wish I could remember where I bought it because I just have to get me some more! (Kim, do you think I got it at Agway? Did you get one??)

Melanie

5 comments:

Hoot Owl Hollow Nursery said...

It could well be a volunteer. I have a large clump which I allow to stay because I really do like it, but it has to be deadheaded before any of the seeds mature because every one, repeat, every single seed, will germinate. It is a horribly invasive plant. There are several selections of nigra, variegated things which are lovely if you can keep them from reverting to all green. Maybe you bought one of them. The green form is just so much more vigorous that it will quickly overtake the variegated part before you realize it.
Jane

Kim said...

Hi Melanie,

I did not get one and do not remember you getting one in Riverhead. I love the pom pom buds though

Kim

Melanie said...

Jane, I just have to comment too. I've grown Centaurea dealbata for at least 18 years and it has never ever given me one single seedling. It too is listed as "self seeds readily". I've never even grown enough to be able to share a single piece!

I do wonder if it's because I have very acidic soil. I also don't have sandy soil which is what many sites say the Centaureas require.

Holly said...

funny how plants do so differently in different places. I never bought a plant, but have a heavy growth of them in my garden. They freely re-seed for me.

Beth said...

Wow - that is pretty! I have a small cutting of the dealbata and of course the purple variety (montana) is starting to bloom right now for me - but this is lovely.