Ornamental thistle, native to the Balkans. Produces brilliant red flowers on tall stems in summer and will continue flowering if dead-headed. Silvery-leaves, intriguing bristly bronze-coloured flower buds and last well as a cut flower. Very attractive to bees and butterflies. Best in full sun and moist but well drained soils.
Centaurea macrocephala has many common names, including bighead knapweed, lemon fluff, or yellow bachelor's button. It is native to the Caucasus and enjoys growing in full sun and in any decent garden soil, being remarkably resilient and tolerant of poor conditions. In summer it will produce large, yellow flowerheads, atop tall stems, that will be very popular with bees and butterflies. Fully hardy, Height: 1.75m
Centaurea nigra is a species of perennial flowering plant, and a stalwart of any meadow type planting intended to attract bees. The fluffy mauve flowerheads are in fact one of the very best sources of nectar of any plant found naturally gowing in Britain. Full sun and moist but well drained soil preferred. Fully hardy. Height: about 1m
A very fine form of 'ornamental thistle' but minus the spines and with loads of large soft pink flowers in summer. Very good for bees. Best in full sun and in moist but well drained soil. Very easy to grow and trouble free. Fully hardy. Final height will be up to 1m.
Low-growing hardy perennial for a sunny and well drained position - good for tumbling over low walls for example. This gorgeous little alpine perennial is very long flowering. The attractive lilac-blue flowers with dark veins and a small yellow lip emerge in mid summer and carry on flowering into the autumn. Hardy. H: 20cm