The cornflower, known in Latin as Centaurea cyanus, has been used for years as a universal medicinal plant.
Due to its categorization as a field weed, the extensive use of fertilizers and weedkillers has decimated the population of this plant to such an extent that it has almost been eradicated.
Due to this, the cornflower was protected for many years, thanks to this measure it was possible to increase the population, therefore there is no threat to it anymore.
The cornflower as a herbaceous plant reaches a height of growth between 20 and 100 centimeters.
Here, the flower-bearing, loosely tomentose stem is simple and branches in the upper part.
It is an annual plant.
The alternately arranged foliage leaves have a medium and loosely gray felt.
At ground level they are larger than those near the tip of the leaf.
The flower appears bell-shaped in various colors, but especially in various strong blue shades, but also in white, pink or purple.
The flowers have about 30 tubular florets on the edge and there are bracts in the center.
The flowers are also slightly tomentose and bloom in the period from late May to September.
The distribution area of Centaurea cyanus covers large parts of Europe.
Despite its wide European distribution, the cornflower is not one of the plants originally native to Europe, as this is a cultivated successor to the seed that originally came from the Mediterranean region.
Presumably, the seed from the Mediterranean region was introduced unknowingly and unintentionally, so Centaurea cyanus counts as a hemerochore plant.
Meanwhile, the cornflower is spread all over the world.
Since the arable farming the cornflower constantly accompanies the grain fields this leads to at the beginning mentioned classification as weed and the following fight against the plant.
Due to the clustered population at the edge of grain fields brought the Centaurea cyanus, already in the Middle Ages the name cornflower.
The cornflower fulfills a high benefit and application for both humans and bees.
Thus, bees and bumblebees see a busy forage plant in the cornflower.
In addition to its use as a medicinal plant, the cornflower is generally very popular among beekeepers, as its high sugar value and the high sugar content of its nectar make it a valued secondary crop.
Due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties, Centaurea cyanus was long considered a universal medicinal plant, so it was used both topically and for internal use.
In particular, it was used for fever and eye diseases, but also for poorly healing wounds.
Due to today’s use of other and more potent medicinal plants with a wide spectrum of effects, the cornflower is only used in a subordinate way.
However, the flowers continue to be used as a herb, because due to the various active ingredients they are universal and can be used for countless ailments.
For the production of blue-flower tinctures, which have a positive effect on states of restlessness, stress, nervousness and concentration disorders, the cornflower is often used.
Classically, in addition to cornflower, nine other medicinal plants and their blue flowers are used.
The flowers of hyssop, meadow saffron, groundsel, speedwell and lavender are only a few examples of plants that are suitable for the preparation of blue flower tincture.
The cornflower is a recognized symbol in many countries.
In Germany, for example, it is the symbol of the Hungarian Germans or Danube Swabians.
In the USA it stands out as the symbol of the annual Steuden Parade, which is held by Americans of German origin.