Name: Blue cornflower – blue hair (harvesting and storage)
Blue cornflower – Centaurea cyanus L. The Ukrainian name is blue hair, popular names are cornflowers, bluish, bluish, blavat, glavat, etc.
Compositae family – Asteraceae (Compositae).
For therapeutic purposes, only blue marginal funnel-shaped flowers are used.
The plant is found almost throughout Ukraine, but not often in Polesie, and almost absent in the Carpathians. It grows as a weed in crops of grain crops, perennial grasses, especially along the edges of fields, also within forest belts, roadside plantations, on young fallows.
Stocks of raw materials are quite large. Dozens of centners can be harvested annually, however, with an increase in agricultural culture, the number of this plant is rapidly declining.
Blue cornflower is an annual, biennial herbaceous plant with a thin, taproot, branched root and erect, branched from the middle, ragged-cobweb stem, 30-80 cm high. The leaves are alternate, gray-green, cobweb-woolly. Basal leaves petiolate, lyre-pinnate-separate; higher on the stem coarsely serrated, narrowed to a petiole towards the base; the uppermost ones are entire, pointed, sessile. Flowers in baskets 5-10 mm in diameter on long, leafless peduncles. Marginal flowers with blue funnel-shaped deep-cut corollas up to 2 cm long, middle flowers with purple, tubular, five-toothed corollas up to 1 cm long. Fruits are pubescent achenes with a dirty purple, easily breaking off tuft. Blooms in June-July. The fruits ripen in August.
Marginal flowers are harvested during flowering, cutting them off from the inflorescences with your hands. Fold, without compacting, in baskets.
Dry under canopies with good ventilation, spreading a thin layer (1-1.5 cm) on paper. Do not dry in the sun, as the flowers fade. The yield of dry raw materials is 20%.
According to FS 42-346-72, the raw material consists of individual marginal funnel-shaped flowers of bright blue color with a length of 2 cm. There is no smell. The taste is bitter, tart, humidity is not higher than 14%. In raw materials, no more than (percent) is allowed: tubular flowers – 40, with a changed color – 10, baskets – 1, organic and mineral impurities – 0.5 each.
Dry flowers are packed in bales of 50 kg and in bags of 15-20 kg. Store in a dry, well-ventilated area on a pallet in a dark place.
The storage period is one year.
The flowers contain anthocyanins, cyanidins, glycosides centaurin, cynarin, etc. They are used as a small diuretic.