The cornflower or Centaurea Cyanus, with its evident light blue-blue colour, is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the Astaraceae family, the same as calendula and chamomile.
It is present throughout Italy, from the Mediterranean region to the mountains, from uncultivated places to hillsides, and in wheat fields, alongside poppies.
This plant used to be very common and grew spontaneously but, unfortunately, the use of selective herbicides has limited its spread over the years, putting it at risk of disappearing altogether. The botanical name “Centaurea” was attributed by the naturalist Linnaeus in the 18th century and originates from ancient Greek mythology, from the Centaur Chiron, a friend of Zeus, who cured an arrow wound with cornflower juice.
The genus name “Cyanus” probably derives from mythology too: the goddess Flora, in love with the young Cyanus, found him lifeless in a field of cornflowers. The cornflower has a quite branched stem that reaches a height of up to 80 cm and has lanceolate leaves. The flowers or flower heads bloom from May to July and, being a honey plant, they are visited by bees.
Cosmetic properties and uses
The part of the plant with active ingredients is represented by the flowers, which contain flavonoids and tannins.
The flowers are rich in decongestant, anti-inflammatory, astringent and antioxidant substances, suitable for cleansing and refreshing the skin.
The best-known preparation in the herbal and cosmetic field is cornflower water, which has a decongestant and moisturising action.
Cornflower water is often used as eye drops or compresses for the eye area, due to its ability to restore brightness, and as a mask for a natural anti-wrinkle treatment.
You can find cornflower water in our facial cleansing and treatment products, in our micellar water for cleansing and decongesting the skin, and in our tonic for its astringent and refreshing action.
Cornflower is a sun-loving plant and sunlight is essential for its growth.
Cornflowers are sown directly in the field in early spring when the winter frosts are over. It requires significant and constant quantities of water, without stagnation, and this means frequent irrigation. The soil must be well drained and be allowed to dry out between one watering and the next. Regular fertilisation is also necessary.