Yellow Hard Head or Globe Cornflower (Kent-OW-ree-a: mak-ro-CEP-a-la)
Large bright yellow-gold thistle like heads of flowers on top of 3 to 4 foot tall stems. Long lived plants that do very well in dry, well drained soils. In the spring long medium green leaves are produced near the ground and plants flower in late spring/early summer. The flowers are enclosed in bronze-copper colored bracts which make good cut flowers or dried decorations. After flowering the seed heads produce a 'button' of very soft white hairs, that can be clean up and used as an odd dried flower or fun tactile toy for children. Plants are large and somewhat coarse looking but the flowers are bright and showy while in bloom for a few weeks. A good plant for the 'neglected' garden, were they will live for many years and not need any extra care. The species name means 'large headed'.
Native from the Caucasus. Sow at 70ºF, cover completely - darkness is helpful. Germination is spread-out over a month or two. Might be helpful to soak the seeds in warm water for 12 hours before sowing.