The name “Centaurea” alludes to the Centaur, Chiron, who is said to have taught man how to use herbs for healing. The specific epithet name cyanus means blue, in reference to the main flower color.
Harvest flowers when they are nearly 100% open.
The Compositae or aster family is vast, with over 20,000 species, and is also one of the most developed families. It was named Compositae because the flowers are actually a “composite” of many individual flowers into one head. Hence, when children pull one “petal” off at a time, saying “she/he loves me, loves me not”, they are actually removing a complete flower, not just a petal.
Recent Research Findings:
Reid (2000) demonstrated that flower food effectiveness varied greatly depending on brand name compared to plain tap water and a bleach/tap water solution.