Cornflower - A beautiful natural annual

Corn niello, beautiful flower of wild appearance and easy in the garden!
It undeniably has a natural, crazy and old-fashioned charm. the nielle des blés was one of the flowers widely cultivated in the gardens of our parents and grandparents. And then according to fashions, it was put aside. What a pity ! A little reminder to sow it this year in an annual bed or in the meadow (not to be confused with its cousin, the garden cockroach).
Come on, this year is the right time to rediscover it, and for sure, if you like "nature" gardens you will fall in love and in love with this flower. Hey, do you know that it is also called "Nielle des blés"? We do not always easily find all the colors that we would like to transplant in the garden ... Especially the white one in our photo ... but for the others there is usually no problem! While waiting for it to come back into fashion, below is all the info to sow it, in the ground, the info you need…. Let's go !

Botanical name:

Agrostemma ghitago

Common names :

Coquelourde, Nielle des près

Plant type:

• Family: Caryophyllaceae
• Cycle: Annual Plant
• Foliage: Deciduous
• Hardiness: Frost plant
• Flowering: May to October
• Maintenance: Watering on dry land.
• Rooting: Roots
• Exposure: Sun
• Soil: Well drained, light sandy
• Habit: Erect, forms a tuft of 60 cm and up to 1 meter.
• Origin: Asia.

Benefits to the gardens:

• Superb flowering
• Honey plant
• Pastel color range
• Good bouquet hold


• For the cultivation of wheat blackberry, and in particular seedlings in the ground, it is imperative to clean the soil well of stones, old roots and “weeds” which could hinder the proper development of the seedlings.
• Cornflower seed is reseeded from one year to the next
• It is not intrusive.

When to sow wheat niello?

• Sow in place in April, in the ground.

How to sow wheat niello?

Prepare the ground:

• Dig to the depth of a half-spade about 10 - 15 cm deep
• Clean the floor well
• Add a mixture of special flower plant potting soil, and also a little sand.
• Mix well.
• Rake with a rake
• Then tamp with the back of the rake.
• Dip it in a bucket of water.
• Sow the seeds of wheat niello, on the fly "on the fly"
• Water in fine rain.

After sowing:

• Keep the soil moist, until the seedlings reach 3 to 5 cm.
• Lighten if necessary.
• Watch out for slugs: make a bead of ash, or pine needles, or crushed eggshells.

When to plant cornflower?

• In place in April, May and September.

How to plant the wheat niello?

Prepare the ground:

• Dig to the depth of a half-spade about 10 - 15 cm deep.
• Add a little sand to improve rainwater drainage.
• Clean the soil well of any stones, weeds, stones and roots.
• Space the plants 30 cm apart.
• Place the buckets.
• Offset the earth.
• Tamp, water, it's planted!

Flowering period:

• From May to October.

Interview :

• Watering: on dry soil, the wheat niello does not fear a lack of water.

Some varieties ...

• Cornflower “Rose du ciel”: bright pink flowers
• Cornflower “Ocean Pearl”: white flowers on tall stems

Agrees with

• Poppies, poppies, valerians.

With or without a garden ...

• In the garden : in massif, in rockery, on the edge ...
• Without garden: in a large planter

We recap

• Plant cycle: annual, it is reseeded from year to year.
• Flowering: April to June
• Color: white, purple-lilac, pink, red…
• Type of soil: Any type of well-drained soil
• Sowing: open ground
• Maintenance: Watering on dry land
• Use: clump, meadow, in the vegetable garden for bouquets
• Other names: coquelourde, Nielle des près

Quick sheet:


flowers that do not fear winter - Hellebore

The Heather

She is a very beautiful little flower with generous and long flowering. Easy to maintain, the Bruyère

The primrose

This flower is one of the first to bloom in the year. Also easy to maintain, it requires little care and is essential for a good garden. The primrose belonging to the Primulaceae family can extend to a height of 10 to 50 cm depending on the species. It can be planted on a ground

Thoughts and viola

Pansies are staple winter and fall plants. Belonging to the Violaceae family

The poet's carnation

The poet's carnation also called barbatus carnation offers a perfect aspect of your garden thanks to its radiant colors. From the Caryophyllaceae family

Dicotyledonous angiosperm plant, whose flowers are composed of five petals with elongated tabs. Plant that grows in temperate regions.


Also called poppy, it is a very beautiful flower that blooms from spring to summer. It belongs to the Papaveraceae family and spans 30 to 40 cm in height. Perennial and annual, this flower is characterized above all by its large size


The delphinium



Flowers that do not fear winter - Columbine

Vivacious and very decorative, Ancolie

Wheat niello

Flowers that do not fear winter - Cornflower


Here ! Promise, due, you now have on hand 12 flowers that are not afraid of winter. You no longer have to put them in the ground to make your garden more beautiful.

Flowering wasteland

Achillea millefolium, Persicaria, Common blackberry, Creeping buttercup, Dysenteric pulp, Poppy, False mustard sisymbre, Shepherd's purse, Lupulin alfalfa, Purple viper, Common brunelle, Bittersweet, Odorless matricaria, Golden daisy or wheat chrysanthemum, Cornflower des champs, Canada Fleabane.
Grasses: Woolly coot (or hairy), Timothy grass.

In April 2008, the soil of an area of ​​10 ares was completely turned over to promote the return of natural vegetation. We then proceeded to sow biennials and annuals on half of the land and sow annuals only on the other half. At the end of June we can already see the first results.

You too can transform part of your lawn into a flowery meadow!
The location of the hay meadow should be sunny, away from trees and walls. Plan it in continuity with the short lawn that is kept in the immediate vicinity of the house. You will be able to observe it closely without crushing the plants and without disturbing the insects.

A hay meadow has neither poppies nor blueberries. These annuals can only be maintained from year to year if the soil is bare enough to allow their seeds to germinate ... which is not the case in a hay meadow, but in a cultivated field. Poppies, blueberries and more will only bloom if you turn the soil over at least every two years!

In a preserved environment, sowing meadow seeds is generally not necessary: ​​the soil contains a stock of dormant seeds which will appear as soon as conditions become favorable for them. In town, however, it is often necessary to add a few seeds. Make sure they are from local strains

As paradoxical as it may seem, the poorer the soil in nutrients (especially nitrogen and phosphorus), the greater the plant diversity: “rich” soils favor the development of some invasive plants (nettle, for example), to the detriment of other species.

Traditionally, the hay meadow was mowed once a year and the hay was blown away. As no fertilizer was added elsewhere, the soil was slowly depleted and various flowers abounded. It is therefore this practice that must be reproduced to obtain a flowery meadow.

How to mow? Above all, do not grind the herbs, in order to allow the collection of hay. The scythe is undoubtedly the most suitable instrument. However, a mower set at maximum cutting height is also suitable.

When to mow With some exceptions, an annual mowing, always carried out at the same time, is sufficient. Two periods are favorable:
- mid-July, to favor plants with spring flowering (cardamine, daisy, etc.),
- mid-September, to promote summer flowers.

Many insects spend the winter hiding in tall grass or laying their eggs there.
It is therefore preferable not to mow the entire meadow. The best is to leave an unmown plot each year ... different from one year to the next, otherwise it will develop into a spontaneous shrub thicket!

Text inspired by a tip sheet edited by Natagora, based on a text by C. Percsy, and with the support of the Brussels-Capital Region and Brussels Environment.

Management project of a biannual plant wasteland at Domaine des Silex

Preliminary :
The areas of soil disturbed and then abandoned for a few years welcome a particular pioneer flora, composed largely of native biennial plants such as teasel, evening primrose, burdock ... These plants have the particularity of attracting foraging insects and of producing strong seeds. appreciated by birds. Such areas are therefore of real interest for biodiversity.
Unfortunately they tend to be increasingly rare, even in the countryside.
This is why we propose to conduct an experiment in the creation and then dynamic management of a biennial wasteland.

Goal :
Create and then effectively manage in the area of ​​Flint an area populated with biennial plants large enough to attract and feed birds such as linnets, greenfinches, goldfinches, sizerins, tree sparrows, reed buntings, bullfinches, etc.
The hoped-for result is to offer at best an alternative and at worst a small supplement to the “artificial” winter feeding of birds.
The ultimate goal, if successful, would be to serve as a model for other such achievements in the metropolitan area and elsewhere.

Principle :
It is about laying bare an area of ​​lawn that is regularly mowed and that has little environmental added value. This can be done either by plowing the lawn, or ideally by scraping and removing the layer of sod to deplete the substrate.
We offer a light sowing of seeds of biennial plants such as those mentioned above. For aesthetics, we could add a few seeds of annuals messicola: poppies, blueberries, wheat niello, wild cereals and other native plants producing seeds appreciated by birds.

Planned area :
The lawn bordered by small hedges located in front of the chalet.
It is necessary to envisage an area of ​​min 10 to 15 ares.

Proposed cycle :
- April 2008: stripping and sowing + sowing of biennials and annuals on ½ of the land (zone A) and sowing of annuals only on the other half (zone B).
- March 2009: bare zone B and sowing of biennial plants + a few annuals.
- March 2010 re-exposure of zone A + seedlings * of annuals and a few annuals.
- March 2011: etc ...

So only one annual intervention is necessary
* It will be necessary to assess whether seedlings are still necessary or whether natural regeneration allows diversity to be maintained (experience will show).

Evaluation :
Regular ornithological and entomological surveys, compared with observations already made in the Estate, should make it possible to measure the effectiveness of the operation.

Ecological risks :
As the place is currently of very limited ecological interest (lawn mowed every week so far), this company does not present any risk of degradation of the site. In addition, the process is completely reversible. If it should turn out to be inconclusive or if it had to be abandoned for some other reason, it would be enough to stop moving the earth to find a situation of meadow (and even of lawn if we wanted to start mowing again)

Conclusion: a simple, original, inexpensive project which, if successful, could enrich the biodiversity of the Domaine des Silex.

Order online all your drought tolerant flower seeds

Seeds-Seeds sells a wide variety of flower seeds, including drought tolerant plants like those listed below, but also gaillardes, florists' carnations, yarrow, etc. Be aware, however, that although some species tolerate dry soil and high temperatures, good mulching and watering from time to time is necessary to ensure the prosperity of its plants.

See you soon for more tips!

Fabien, from Seeds-Seeds

Flower identification: Cornflower

I may be thinking of an annual coquelourde but I ask for confirmation

Ha yes I just looked on the internet indeed Nono 80 rightly I found a photo: it looks like it

Dany, however, you went to a good school, your photos smaller

Nono, you are certainly right, I could not find the name any more and while putting away my seeds, I came across a sachet of coquelourde offered for a subscription of R. A it is for this reason that I made this proposal

papypassions wrote: Dany, however, you went to a good school, your photos smaller

Grandpa, it's not Dany but Jocelyne who posted a giant photo!
Jojo, you have to resize the photos to 600 and not 800 as you did), because it distorts the forum. You will be punished. I leave you the choice of the person who will spank you: who do you choose?

Solène wrote: papypassions wrote: Dany, however, you went to a good school, your photos smaller

Grandpa, it's not Dany but Jocelyne who posted a giant photo!
Jojo, you have to resize the photos to 600 and not 800 as you did), because it distorts the forum. You will be punished. I leave you the choice of the person who will spank you: who do you choose?
When I take a picture on the internet its size doesn't tell me so I don't know how you do it?

For the spanking I'm going to choose a handsome kid like Grandpa for example

Video: Clare Walker Leslie at Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference 2019

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