Discover our herbarium

Cornflower

Pagès has chosen to use Cornflower in its teas and herbal teas. Its floral flavour brings a sweet and exquisite note to our creations.

Cornflower, a plant with sweet and floral flavours

ORIGINS OF CORNFLOWER

Originally from Europe, Cornflower is a plant that is mainly associated with History. It is the symbol of many causes.

It was in the 12th century that the first uses of Bleuet were recorded. The nun Hildegarde de Bingen, who was passionate about medicine, used its floral water for eyes and skin. For herbalist Pierandrea Mattioli, who studied the plant in the 16th century, the colour of the Cornflower should symbolize healthy eyes. It is with this in mind that the herbalist prescribes the plant against eye diseases, which will give the plant the nickname " glasses breaker ".

 

This plant has been given many nicknames. It was previously referred to as "Barbeau" in reference to the decorative expression "au barbeau" (sowing flowers) or "des barbeaux" (garland flower borders), very popular motifs on porcelain or faience sets. Queen Marie-Antoinette, who was also a fan of this type of decoration, ordered tableware sets decorated with garlands of flowers from the Sèvres and Tournai manufactories.

In France, there are records of the first use of Bleuet in 1916. Two nurses from the Invalides hospital concerned about the suffering of the French soldiers of the First World War decided to help them by organizing workshops to make bouquets of Cornflowers with cloth petals and paper stamens. Subsequently sold to the public, these bouquets make it possible to raise sufficient funds for the reintegration of disabled and war wounded into working life. The Cornflower then adopts an additional symbol: that of reintegration through work.

Today, these workshops are still running and the revenues are still allocated to the wounded and victims of war but also to the wards of the nation and victims of terrorism.

It was Louis Fontenaille who affirmed the status of the Bleuet in the aftermath of the war. President of the mutilated persons of France, he asks that the plant become the symbolic flower of the "People who died for France". Since then, the Cornflower has been wearing this symbol, probably the best known of all those it represents.

This symbol of memory and solidarity can be explained in part because despite the reversals of the earth caused by shells, the Blueberry was one of the only flowers to continue to grow, along with the Poppy. This plant was then the only symbol of life in an environment surrounded by death. If the French chose Cornflower, the English chose Poppy as a symbol for the same reasons.

 

During the war, Cornflower refers to soldiers of the 1915 class, born in 1895 in France. These soldiers were called "Les Bleuets" ("Cornflowers") because of their young age and limited experience on the battlefield. They also wore this nickname because of their uniform: it was blue-horizon, unlike those of the older ones on the front who wore a green, mud-stained outfit. In the Dreyfus affair at the end of the 19th century, wearing the Cornflower in the buttonhole was a sign of the rallying of the "antidreyfusards" clan. Blue, white and red bouquets of Cornflowers, Daisies and Poppies were made for Mother's Day until 1955. Cornflower is also linked to original and supernatural stories. Several thousand years ago, it was used to create a love elixir powerful enough to attract the love of your life to yourself.

 

In France, Cornflower therefore has many symbols of commitment (political, social).

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BLUEBERRY


Name: Cyanus segetum

Family: Asteraceae

Species: herbaceous plant

 

Cornflower belongs to the Asteraceae family and has more than 150 species.


Like many plants, the Blueberry is known by several nicknames: Audifoin, Barbeau, Blavelle, Fields cornflower, Glasses breaker, Centaury Blueberry or Zacharias flower. Part of its botanical name, "Cyanus", refers to the cyan colour of its flower heads.

An annual plant, Cornflower has greyish-green rowing stems with a velvety appearance. Its basal leaves are slender and lanceolate. Arranged in rosettes, they rise harmoniously around the plant's capitula. Cornflower is known for its blue flowers, however some varieties of the plant have purple, white or pink flowers. It flowers in spring (usually between April and November). Its subtle smell exalts pollen, its flavour is sweet and light.

Cornflower is an often adventitious plant, i.e. it grows in places where it has not been intentionally planted by humans: in fields, by the roadside, etc. This has been the case since agricultural land has been subject to weedkiller application. Cornflower was once considered as a pestiferous plant by farmers. It was often resistant to scythe and sickle at harvest. This may seem surprising, however, the stems of the Cornflower are elastic and very hard at the end of flowering. Annual plants growing in harvests (cereal fields) are also referred to as messicolous plants.

Cornflower grows on different types of soils but prefers finely and regularly loosened soils.

Its maintenance is easy, the Cornflower is satisfied with little or no sunlight regularly enough. Watering is not mandatory. However, care must be taken to remove withered flowers and weeds for proper development. Its rural side gives it a beautiful effect in solid masses and flower beds.

 

USES AND BENEFITS OF CORNFLOWER


Cornflower is now used in many cases. All parts of this plant can be used.

It is mainly found in herbal infusion in which its virtues are useful in case of inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes. Its soothing properties fully justify its consumption as an infusion.

An edible flower, Cornflower is increasingly present in the culinary arts. It goes very well with sweet flavours such as mousses, fruit salads or all types of cakes. In Canada, it is used to make pancakes.

Cooks usually place it as it is on the plates to decorate their dishes or use it ground. Sprinkling ground Cornflower flower on meat in sauce gives it a pleasant and delicious taste.

More surprisingly, it is advisable to macerate Cornflowers in beer for a few days to fight against rheumatism, gout or urine retention.

Cornflower is also used in cosmetics. Indeed, Cornflower decoction is prescribed in the case of irritation of the eyes and eyelids but also to fight against conjunctivitis. Cornflower hydrosol can be used, for example, as a treatment around tired eyes, when the skin relaxes or as an after-sun treatment for the body. Its high soothing properties are said to stimulate and brighten the complexion. Cornflower hydrosol goes very well with Damascus Rose or Rose de Mai. This marriage makes it possible to act against fine lines.

Cornflower essential oil is rich in active molecules. Its stimulating and strengthening properties allow it to naturally find its place in cosmetics. It is said that Cornflower is also used in herbal medicine to decongest the bronchial tubes, improve urinary function, reduce rheumatism, treat gout or oedema.

 

You will find Cornflower in Pagès' green, white and black teas.