Bachelor's button, an annual flower, got its name from its use as a boutonniere flower.
Description: Bachelor's button grows one to three feet tall with innumerable fluffy but trim round flowers held above the rather sparse, long and narrow gray-green leaves. The habit of growth is relatively loose, except with compact new cultivars.
How to grow: Full sun in average soil is good. For earliest bloom, sow seeds outdoors in the fall so they will start to grow before the first frost and bloom the next spring. Otherwise, sow seeds outdoors as early in the spring as the soil can be worked. Thin to 8 to 12 inches apart.
Propagation: To grow seedlings indoors, germinate at 65 degrees Fahrenheit four weeks before planting out. Germination time is 7 to 14 days.
Uses: Bachelor's buttons lend themselves to informal planting, particularly with other annuals and perennials in beds and borders.
Related species: Centaurea montana, blue-flowered perennial.
Related varieties: Blue Boy grows to more than two feet. Polka Dot Mix comes with flowers of many colors. Dwarf Midget produces bushy plants that grow up to a foot high.
Scientific name: Centaurea cyanus