Dwarf plants with lavender-lilac coloured double flowers.
The cornflower is considered to be a good companion, in small quantities, for cereal crops, though another report says that its greedy roots deprive the cultivated plants of nutrients and its tough stem dulls the reaper's sickle.
Sow March in the greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in May. The seed can also be sown in situ during April, whilst in areas where the winters are not too cold a sowing in situ during September will produce larger and earlier-flowering plants.
The young shoots are edible.
Flowers - raw or cooked. The fresh florets can be used in salads. They are used as a vegetable or a garnish.
An edible blue dye is obtained from the flowers, used for colouring sugar and confections.