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Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-07-20
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital JPEG
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): My Purple Obsession 4 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-09-14 8:19
Viewed: 3521
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
In my archive I’ve got a lot of photos with flowers. This one I took in July and I don’t know what to think about it. To me it looks attractive, but I have my doubts and don’t know why.
I hope you like it.

Thanks Joska (Szabo Jozsef) for the right ID.

Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower, Bachelor's button, Bluebottle, Boutonniere flower, Hurtsickle) is a small annual flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe. "Cornflower" is also erroneously used for chicory, and more correctly for a few other Centaurea species; to distinguish C. cyanus from these it is sometimes called Common Cornflower. It may also be referred to as "basketflower" but this is highly misleading; the term properly refers to the Plectocephalus group of Centaurea, which is probably a distinct genus.

It is an annual plant growing to 40-90 cm tall, with grey-green branched stems. The leaves are lanceolate, 1-4 cm long. The flowers are most commonly an intense blue colour, produced in flowerheads (capitula) 1.5-3 cm diameter, with a ring of a few large, spreading ray florets surrounding a central cluster of disc florets. The blue pigment is protocyanin, which in roses is red.

In the past it often grew as a weed in crop fields, hence its name (fields growing grains such as wheat, barley, rye, or oats were formerly known as "corn fields" in England). It is now endangered in its native habitat by agricultural intensification, particularly over-use of herbicides, destroying its habitat; in the United Kingdom it has declined from 264 sites to just 3 sites in the last 50 years. In reaction to this, the conservation charity Plantlife named it as one of 101 species it would actively work to bring 'Back from the Brink'. It is also, however, through introduction as an ornamental plant in gardens and a seed contaminant in crop seeds, now naturalised in many other parts of the world, including North America and parts of Australia.

It is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens, where several cultivars have been selected with varying pastel colours, including pink and purple. Centaurea is also grown for the cutflower industry in the U.S. for use by florists. The most common color variety for this use is a doubled blue variety such as 'Blue Boy' or 'Blue Diadem'. White, pink, lavender and black (actually a very dark maroon) are also used but less commonly. It is also occasionally used as a culinary ornament. Cornflowers have been used and prized historically for their blue pigment. Cornflowers are often used as an ingredient in some tea blends and herbal teas,and is famous in the Lady Grey blend of Twinings. A relative, Centaurea montana, is a perennial plant which is also cultivated as a garden plant. Cornflowers germinate quickly after planting.

Light requirements: full sun. Water requirements: high-average water daily. Soil pH requirements: neutral (6.6-7.5) to mildly alkaline (7.6-7.8).

Folklore and symbolism

Flowering shoot of Cornflower. I. Disk-floret in vertical section.In folklore, cornflowers were worn by young men in love; if the flower faded too quickly, it was taken as a sign that the man's love was not return.

In herbalism, a decoction of cornflower is effective in treating conjunctivitis, and as a wash for tired eyes.

The blue cornflower has been the national flower of Estonia since 1968 and symbolizes daily bread to Estonians. It is also the symbol of the Estonian political party, People's Union, the Finnish political party, National Coalition Party, and the Swedish political party, Liberal People's Party, and has since the dawn of the 20th century been a symbol for social liberalism there.

The blue cornflower is also one of the national flowers of Germany. This is partly due to the story that when Queen Louise of Prussia was fleeing Berlin and pursued by Napoleon's forces, she hid her children in a field of cornflowers and kept them quiet by weaving wreaths for them from the flowers. The flower thus became identified with Prussia, not least because it was the same color as the Prussian military uniform. After the unification of Germany in 1875, it went on to became a symbol of the country as a whole. For this reason, in Austria the blue cornflower is a political symbol for pan-German and rightist ideas. Members of the Freedom Party wore it at the opening of the Austrian parliament in 2005.

It was also the favourite flower of Louise's son Kaiser Wilhelm I. Because of its ties to royalty, authors such as Theodor Fontane have used it symbolically, often sarcastically, to comment on the social and political climate of the time.

The cornflower is also often seen as an inspiration for the German Romantic symbol of the Blue Flower.

In France it is the symbol of the 11th November 1918 armistice and, as such, a common symbol for veterans (especially the now defunct poilus of World War I), similar to the poppies worn in the United Kingdom and in Canada.

The cornflower is also the symbol for Motor Neurone Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

nglen, marianas, nasokoun, roges, Dis. Ac., siggi, boreocypriensis, zulfu, bahadir, cirano, CeltickRanger, jaycee, anemone, Miss_Piggy, Argus, ferranjlloret, Pitoncle, Noisette, livius has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To joska: Right IDPeterZ 1 09-14 09:30
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-09-14 8:46]

Hi Peter. I would have been glad to have taken this very nice close up of the Common chicory flower. With fine detail in the main one. With bright colours. You say you are not sure about it . Is it because the second flower is out of focus because to me this helps. Any way fine some more for us to see. Well done TFS.


hello Peter
a very beautiful scene and a exceptional result and photo
TFS thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2009-09-14 8:58]
  • [+]

Very good photo, nice colors and details, but it is not some Centaurea species?

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-09-14 9:03]

Hi Peter,

Dit fantastische macro! Uitzonderlijke gepresenteerd. Mijn hartelijke gelukwensen!
Een rustige week,

Hallo Peter,

Ja ik vindt de achtergrond nogal druk.
Wel goede dieptewerking door die onscherpe bloem rechts boven.
Mooie natuurlijke kleuren.
Ja dat valt niet mee, bloemen en paddenstoeln fotograferen.
dit zijn Korenbloemen maar dat wist je toch wel hopelijk?
Maar denk het niet gezien je bedankje voor de id.

groet Gert

Bonsoir Peter
Le double 'Bleuet', en premier et en arrière plan, est une bonne idée, et surtout , est très réussi.
Merci pour cette qualité

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-09-14 11:40]

Hello Peter
Lovely sharp shot of this beautiful flower. You have good saturation which really helps this one stand out. TFS
Best regards Siggi

Hi Peter Dostum,

An awesome macro capture of this marvelous flower from nice POV with great DOF and excellent clarity.
TFS and have good night!

Ps.Today our educational semestre started, hence i was a bit late for commenting! sorry!

Gran belleza en los colores Peter. El ángulo y el enfoque mejorables.
Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-09-14 12:56]

Hello Peter, nice close-up of Centaurea flowers with nice composition and colours.
TFS and G's,

Hello Peter, wonnderful shot of this beautiful flower. Nice composition.
TFS and regards, Bahadır

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-09-14 13:59]

Slav Peter,
A beautiful shot of this beautiful and different flower.Nice sharpness and colors.TFS.

hello Peter

beautiful flower photo with fine POV at their level,
i love the way they are framed on the image
with the one off focus of the background,
fine focus excellent sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-09-14 16:22]

Hi Neighbor,

Such pretty little flowers! The shapes of the petals are beautiful and the colors are wonderful. You show them in fine detail and in a lovely composition.


Hi peter..
Great macro capture. nice sharpness and details..
Best Regards

Hallo Peter
You may have your doubts, but I do not. This cornflower with its different shades of purple is very eye-catching. It is a pretty flower with interesting shape of petals.
I like the unopened bud on the right hand side of the frame, as well as the blurred flower at the back. The fine details of the anthers is also beautifully seen. Thanks for sharing this flower from your archives. Best regards.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-09-14 22:34]

Hello Peter,
Nice to see you posting a flower and one of my favourite species, the Cornflower. Technically this is fine with the main flower in sharp focus. If I were to reflect your doubts, I maght have cropped more on the right of this image to avoid the central composition.
Otherwise this is nice to view.
Thanks and all the best,

Ciao Peter. Nice flower's compo today in very good light and vivid natural colours.


Hello Peter,
a very good macro shot of Centaurea cyanus, excellent POV, good sharpness and beautiful delicate colours, i like this harmonious composition with a selective focusing.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 821 W: 0 N: 2415] (10650)
  • [2009-09-15 3:22]

Hi Peter,
Purple, two beautiful flowers ...
Depth of field, color and detail, macro values, fine.
Best wishes,

Ciao Peter, great focus on beautiful couple of lovely flowers, wonderful natural colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Peter,
Excellent shot of this beautiful Centaurea. TFS
Best regards

Bonjour Peter,
Très belle publication bien composée dans un cadrage serré valorisant bien les sujets par l'appréciation de la finesse des détails et de la délicatesse des couleurs.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

hello Peter
this flowers are very beautiful, in france the Cornflower are very rare too
great presentation with nice colors and great sharpness
wonderfu BG and good DOF
Have a good night

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-09-17 19:47]

Hi Peter,
very lovely and neat presentation of these flowers. i like its smoothness against the blurry background. The colours well seen and theit glows in the canvas.


Hello Peter
lovely and delicate capture of these Centaurea cyanus. Very good details and exposure with optimal focusing and balanced light.

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