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May 2010
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Corn-cockle Agrostemma:characteristics, growing and planting conditions,care and its uses.

Corncockle (Agrostemma githago) grows naturally among corn fields in European countries. It was introduced around the world by countries that import European wheat. When the wheat was harvested, Corncockle was harvested and mixed in with the wheat seed. Past developments in agriculture technology helped remove Corncockle from exported European wheat.

Characteristics of Agrostemma/Corn-Cockle

– Corn-cockle is a very hardy plant, withstanding temperatures down to about -20 degrees celsius.
– The poisonous Corncockle plant can reach heights of 1 meter.
– They have very few branches, all of which are covered in small, fine hairs.
– The stalks are very hard and stand up erect.
– The leaves reach lengths of 15 cm but are normally much smaller.
– They are lanceolate in shape, opposite and a light shade of green in color.
– Agrostemma has very small trumpet shaped dark pink flowers.
– It is an ideal plant for growing in borders and cottage gardens.

Growing Conditions for Agrostemma/Corn-Cockle

– Growing Corncockle is quite easy, and there is not much effort involved.
– Start sowing Corncockle in the spring in the location where it is to be grown.
– Do not start the seeds in a planter to transplant later.
– Germination time for Corncockle should be about 2 or 3 weeks.
– Plant and grow Corn-cockle in a rich, loose soil.
– Make sure it is well-drained.
– Corncockle tends to grow in most types of soils though.
– Keep the plant in a sunny area.

Taking care of corn cockle in the garden

Corn cockle is easy to take care of, it requires watering in dry spells during the summer, and the removal of dead flower heads to stop seed set, and the plant from becoming a weed.

Uses for corn cockle

– The foliage is light so it can be planted as a see-through plant surrounded and backed by other flowers.
– Their delicate grace makes them a good foil for more substantial plants.
– The flowers can be readily seen if grown at the back of borders or beds.
– Use them, too, for height in island beds.
– The informal character lends distinction to cottage gardens with a variety of plantings.
– They also make good cut flowers.

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