Centaurea cineraria, the velvet centaurea, is – like some other plants – also known as "dusty miller" and "silver dust". It is a small plant in the family Asteraceae and originates from the Island of Capraia in Italy, where it is called fiordaliso delle scogliere.<ref name='EUROMED'/>
The mature plants will grow from 15 cm to 60 cm (6inches to 24 inches). They prefer full sun, but will tolerate light shade, and also prefers average to rich well-drained soil.
Centaurea cineraria will produce small white or yellow flowers in summer, but these are usually trimmed because the plant is normally grown as foliage.
Depending on climate, it can be grown as either an annual or as a perennial.
Common varieties include: "Silver Dust", "Silver Lace" and "Cirrus". The image above the scientific classification is a plant of the "Silver Lace" variety.
- Ellis, Barbara W., "Taylor's Guide to Annuals, How to Select and Grow More Than 400 Annuals, Biennials, and Tender Perennials", 1999 Haughton Mifflin Company, New York, NY
- Armitage, Allan M., "Armitage's Manual of Annuals, Biennials, and Half-Hardy Perennials", illustrated Asha Kays and Chris Johnson, 2001 Timber Press Inc., Singapore