Centaurea montana ‘Alba’
WHITE PERENNIAL CORNFLOWER
Fringed white pinwheel flowers, above silver-grey foliage, make an elegant and eye-catching package on Centaurea montana ‘Alba’, the White Perennial Cornflower.
Frost crystal white flowers
The frost crystal white flowers are large, up to 7.5cm (3in) across. So they make a big impression for such a small neat plant.
(See the “Growing” section below for plant details, how and where to grow)
Suits smaller gardens
Centaurea montana ‘Alba’ delivers value year round for small gardens, with long blooming sparkling flowers, above a neat silver-grey foliage clump.
An ideal garden edger
It is also an ideal edging plant because of the the tight, low growth habit, and wonderful colour contrast of white flowers and grey foliage against all the other greens.
So use it as a silver edge for a path amongst bright flowers.
White Perennial Cornflower also makes a pretty feature in a pot year round.
Or you can plant several to make a very effective groundcover.
Attractive foliage all year
Blue-grey, lance-shaped leaves are attractive and tidy year round too.
Hardy, easy & low maintenance
Centaurea montana ‘Alba’ is an unfussy, easy to grow, and frost hardy plant.
Happily it requires little to no maintenance once established.
Perfect under deciduous trees, or part shade
Centaurea montana ‘Alba’ prefers a little shade and dappled sunlight, or shade for part of the day, particularly in hot areas.
However it will also thrive in full sun where the soil is retentive, or the district cooler.
So it prefers deciduous shade rather than evergreen shade, where it can enjoy the sun during the cooler months when the overhead canopy has fallen.
This beauty can tolerate drought but cannot tolerate waterlogged conditions.
Growing: Centaurea montana ‘Alba’
WHITE PERENNIAL CORNFLOWER
– Height with flowers: 30cm – 45cm. approx.
– Width: Dense, low and neat clump to a diameter of 30cm. – 50cm. approx.
– Position: Partial Shade is preferred, particularly in hot areas. However it will also thrive in Full Sun if the soil is retentive or the district is cooler.
– Soil: Tolerant of a range of soils, varying from light sand to heavy clay, as long as the clay is not waterlogged for long periods. Good drainage is preferred.
– Frost: Very frost hardy, and able to withstand severe frosts to well below -10C.
– Growth: Evergreen perennial clump, with a tight carpet of silvery foliage. Good weed suppressor and groundcover, as the leaves make such a dense cover.
Other garden benefits
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees and other beneficial pollinators are always very busy working the flowers for pollen and nectar.
– Care: Easy, Low care plant requiring very little maintenance. You can tidy off spent flower stems if you are looking for something to do, but it is not essential. Otherwise they are virtually care free.
Water: Normal average garden water is sufficient, and this is a hardy plant that can withstand variations and more difficult periods of heat and dry.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Nibbling pests do not enjoy the texture of Centaurea foliage. It is even listed by Washington State University as a deer resistant plant.
– Fragrance: Sadly none, but other good qualities make you forgive this misdemeanor.
– Origin: Centaurea montana ‘Alba’ is native to Europe, particularly in France and Italy. So the Mediterranean style climate of southern Australia suits it perfectly.