Let Bellina Cornflower Dance Her Way Into Your Plant Palette

Bellina cornflower photo by Panayoti Kelaidis

Bellina cornflower (Psephellus simplicicaulis) has – both literally and figuratively – kept a low profile in the garden. Originally from Türkiye and the southern Caucasus mountains, it’s been grown by rock gardeners in our region for decades. This well-behaved cornflower relative remains a tidy, low growing mat. And, while Bellina pink cornflower may be low-growing, it is poised to take a high-profile role in regional horticulture and is now a member of the Plant Select® line.

It was plucked out of the finest rock gardens of the Front Range, drawing interest from members due to its clean profile, handsome, fine-textured foliage, and exuberant, long-lasting bloom of frilly pink flowers. Like dozens of dancing pom-poms atop clean, 8-inch stems, these plants perform for months beginning in mid-spring.

Use these tiny toughies as pathway edgers, where its dainty leaves – green above and silver below – soften coarse flagstones, in dry gardens, where it mingles well with other mats and cushions, or in perennial garden borders, where its unusual, textured buds contrast with more conventional plant material.

Bellina pink cornflower makes a great contrast for plants with tawny colors. Pair it with cool season grasses, like fescues (Festuca spp. and x.) for summer interest, or Undaunted® ruby muhly grass (Muhlenbergia reverchonii UNDAUNTED®) for a three-season contrast in form and texture. 

Consider avoiding deadheading to preserve its interesting seedheads.

See the plant profile here.

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