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Centaurea americana

Basket-like inflorescences with wispy petals.

Native to the south-central U.S. and northeastern Mexico, this showy annual produces impressively large blooms with fine, wispy petals that fade from pink-lavender at the edges to creamy-white near the center. The underside of each 4-5” wide florescence forms an intricate basket-weave pattern, hence the name. Resembling a common thistle, but without the prickliness, the sweetly scented flowers bloom from from late spring to late summer, attracting a range of pollinators. Once the flowers fade, they give way to fluffy seedheads enjoyed by the birds.

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Direct sow shallowly around last frost, or start indoors 6-8 weeks before. Ideal germination temperature is around 70 degrees F. Transplant after frost, once seedlings reach about 5"" tall. Performs best in full sun and well-drained soil with medium moisture. Drought tolerant once established. Deadhead regularly for the longest bloom season.

Days to Germination 7-21
Days to Maturity 110
Planting Depth 1/4"
Spacing in Row 24"
Spacing Between Rows 36"
Height at Maturity 48"
Width at Maturity 30"
Sun Preference Full Sun

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