Cornflower is an annual plant that flowers between May and August. The seed usually germinates the following spring but it can remain viable for many years. This explains why in the later years of the twentieth century it made unexpected reappearances along road-building projects, triggered into germinating by the disturbance of the earth. In another location, College Lake Nature Reserve at Pitstone in Buckinghamshire, the warden discovered soil dating from the 1930s and before the age of herbicide. He spread it over a field at the edge of the reserve and the dormant seeds of cornflower, corncockle Agrostemma githago and pheasant's eye Adonis annua all germinated.
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