Corncockle is a pretty flower that bobs in the wind on slender stalks. Warning: Probably should not be planted around small children. All parts of the plant are toxic to eat. But then again, so are many other common plants such as daffodils and foxgloves. I still recommend it for Sunnyvale gardens.

The Corncockle originated in Europe where it grew in wheat fields in the disturbed soil. The British used the word “corn” when referring to wheat. The word “cockle” is from the greek for “shell”. In the 19th century, it was very common because the corncockle seeds would be included in the harvested wheat seed and then resown the following season. Modern agricultural techniques have eliminated that so the corncockle is back to being rare.

Agrostemma githago

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)

Genus: Agrostemma (ag-roh-STEM-uh) (Info)

Species: githago (GITH-uh-go) (Info)

Category: Annuals

Height: 18-24 in. (45-60 cm), 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing: 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness: Not Applicable

Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

Danger: All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color: Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time: Mid Spring, Late Spring/Early Summer, Mid Summer

Foliage: Herbaceous

Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements: Unknown – Tell us

Patent Information: Non-patented

Propagation Methods: From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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