Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow'

Common Name: mountain bluet 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White petals with blue-purple center
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Tolerant of poor soils. Can spread somewhat rapidly by stolons to form colonies in optimum growing conditions, particularly in rich fertile soils which should be avoided and in cool northern climates where it is more robust. Remove spent flower stalks after bloom. Sparse rebloom in late summer-early fall may occur. Plants need to be divided every 2-3 years.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Centaurea montana is an erect, stoloniferous, clump-forming perennial which features solitary, fringed, rich blue cornflowers (2" diameter) with reddish blue centers and black-edged involucre bracts. Flowers appear in late spring atop unbranched stems typically growing 1-2' tall. Gray-green, lance-shaped lower leaves to 7" long. Commonly called mountain bluet, perennial cornflower or perennial bachelor's button.

Genus name comes from the Greek word kentauros meaning centaur.

Specific epithet means pertaining to mountains.

‘Amethyst in Snow’ is reportedly the first bicolor cultivar of this species to be introduced into commerce. Flowers feature well-spaced, tubular, pure white petals radiating from contrasting deep blue-purple centers. Flowers bloom in May-June atop stems typically rising 12-18” (less frequently to 24”) tall over a clump of silvery-green, lance-shaped leaves (to 7” long).


No serious insect or disease problems. Rust, aster yellows, stem rot and mildew are occasional problems.


Best massed in border fronts, cottage gardens or naturalized areas.