Cupid's Dart Catananche caerulea 'Major'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Cupid's dart 'Major'


Catananche caerulea 'Major', commonly known as Cupid's dart, is an attractive perennial plant known for its distinctive flowers and foliage. The plant bears clumps of narrow, grayish-green leaves that are lance-shaped and have a slightly furry texture. The foliage forms a basal rosette, from which long, slender stems emerge. The most striking feature of Cupid's dart is its blooms. The flowers are typically a deep blue to lavender color, although there can be variations in hue. Each flower comprises a ring of papery, petal-like structures surrounding a darker, button-like center. These blossoms have a frilly, almost ruffled appearance, which adds to their charm. The flowers are borne on the ends of the tall, stiff stalks and tend to have a star-like shape due to the spread of the thin petals. Cupid's dart blooms throughout the summer months, providing a splash of color in garden beds and borders. The plant is often used as a cut flower due to its attractive and long-lasting blooms. When planted in groups, Cupid's dart forms a visually striking display, with the blue flowers contrasting nicely against the silvery tones of the foliage. Additionally, Cupid's dart can attract various pollinators, adding to the ecological value of the garden.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Cupid's Dart, Blue Cupidone

    • Common names

      Catananche coerulea 'Major', Catananche caerulea 'Major'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Cupid's dart (Catananche caerulea 'Major') is not commonly known to be toxic to humans. However, as with many plants, it is always prudent to exercise caution and avoid ingesting plant parts without proper knowledge or guidance, as individual sensitivity can vary. There is limited information on the specific symptoms of poisoning because it is not typically considered a poisonous plant. Nevertheless, if ingestion occurs and symptoms appear, it is important to seek medical advice.

    • To pets

      Cupid's dart (Catananche caerulea 'Major') is not widely recognized as toxic to pets. As with most plants, it is wise to prevent pets from ingesting this or any other plant not meant for consumption, as it may cause mild stomach upset in some animals. The lack of widespread recognition as a poisonous plant suggests that serious or life-threatening symptoms are unlikely, but always keep an eye on your pet's behavior and seek veterinary care if they appear unwell after consuming any part of the plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Catananche caerulea 'Major', commonly known as Cupid's dart, is known for attracting bees and butterflies, which are beneficial for pollination in the garden.
    • Drought Tolerant: Once established, Cupid's dart is drought tolerant, making it suitable for dry or xeriscaped gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: This plant generally requires minimal care once it is established, needing only occasional watering and deadheading.
    • Long Blooming Season: Offering a long flowering period, Cupid's dart can provide color and interest in the garden throughout the summer months.
    • Cut Flowers: The blooms of Cupid's dart are excellent for use in cut flower arrangements due to their striking appearance and longevity.
    • Deer Resistant: Cupid's dart is not a preferred food source for deer, making it a good choice for gardens in areas where deer browsing is a problem.
    • Full Sun Adaptation: This plant thrives in full sun, making it a good choice for sunny borders and open areas in the garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Cupid's Dart can be used as a natural dye, imparting a subtle blue or grey tint to fabrics or paper when processed properly.
    • The dried blooms of Cupid's Dart are often incorporated into potpourri mixes for a rustic and attractive visual element.
    • Florists utilize the long-lasting flowers of Cupid's Dart in creating decorative dried flower arrangements.
    • The strong stems and distinctive flowers of Cupid's Dart make them an excellent choice for crafts, such as flower pressing or making botanical prints.
    • Cupid's Dart serves as an inspiration for artists and photographers due to its striking blue flowers and unique aesthetic.
    • Gardeners may use Cupid's Dart as a natural border to deter pests because of its sturdy nature and less appeal to common herbivores.
    • Seed heads of Cupid's Dart can be used as fillers in wreaths and other dried floral decorations, adding texture and interest.
    • The plant can act as a natural indicator for soil health, thriving in well-drained soils and signaling the need for amendments if growth is poor.
    • Educational use in ecology and botany classes as a living example of plant adaptation and pollination strategies.
    • Cupid's Dart is sometimes included in sensory gardens for its unique texture and color contrast.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Cupid's dart is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Cupid's dart is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Persistent Love: Catananche caerulea 'Major,' commonly known as Cupid's Dart, is associated with enduring love due to its mythology of being used by Cupid to capture the affections of the heart.
    • Attraction: Its association with Cupid, the Roman god of desire and affection, symbolizes a strong attraction or charm, implying the plant's power to enchant or entice.
    • Romantic gestures: The charming blue flowers of Cupid's Dart are often used in bouquets to express romantic feelings, representing a gesture of love or courtship.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Rarely needed
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Cupid's Dart plant prefers to be watered regularly, especially during its active growing season in spring and summer. The soil should dry out between watering sessions. It typically requires watering about once a week, depending on environmental conditions such as heat and wind. You can provide approximately one gallon of water for an average-sized plant to ensure deep watering which encourages root growth. During the dormant season in fall and winter, reduce watering frequency to prevent root rot.

  • sunLight

    Cupid's Dart thrives in full sun conditions, which means at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. It is best to locate the plant in a spot where it will receive ample sunshine throughout the day to promote healthy growth and prolific blooming. Make sure to place it in an area that is not shaded for the majority of the day to ensure it gets the light it needs.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Cupid's Dart is hardy and tolerates a range of temperatures but grows best between 60°F and 75°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about 50°F, but frost can damage the plant. Maximum temperature tolerance is around 85°F before the plant starts showing signs of heat stress. The ideal temperature conditions should remain moderate to ensure healthy growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Cupid's Dart after blooming to promote a second flush of flowers and maintain a tidy appearance. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, encourages more blooms. Cut back the foliage in late fall or early spring to rejuvenate the plant for the upcoming season. The best time for heavy pruning is spring, just as new growth starts to appear.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Cupid's Dart (Catananche caerulea 'Major') thrives in well-draining soil that is light and sandy with moderate fertility. A mix containing sand, loam, and compost works well. The ideal pH for Cupid's Dart is slightly alkaline to neutral, ranging between 7.0 and 8.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Cupid's Dart doesn't require frequent repotting as it prefers to be left undisturbed once established. It is typically repotted only if it outgrows its current container or the soil needs refreshing, which might be every 2 to 3 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Cupid's Dart is not particularly sensitive to humidity levels and does well in the typical humidity found outdoors. It doesn't require any special humidity adjustments when grown in garden settings.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in a sunny spot with well-drained soil mix.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun and well-draining soil; protect from severe frost.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Catananche caerulea 'Major', commonly known as Cupid's dart, begins its life cycle as a seed, which germinates in the spring when temperatures warm and moisture is sufficient. The seedlings develop a rosette of lance-shaped leaves at the soil surface. As the plant matures, it sends up flowering stalks in early to mid-summer, displaying its characteristic lavender-blue flowers with dark centers. Following pollination, often by bees and butterflies attracted to the blooms, the flowers develop into seed heads that disperse seeds, completing the reproductive cycle. Cupid's dart is a perennial plant, so its root system continues to live and the plant will produce new foliage and flowers in the subsequent growing seasons. In winter, the above-ground portion may die back, with the plant entering a period of dormancy until conditions are favorable again in the spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Cupid's dart, or Catananche caerulea 'Major', is typically propagated by sowing seeds. The best time to propagate by seeds is in spring after the last frost has passed. To propagate Cupid's dart, one can scatter the seeds directly onto a well-drained soil surface where they wish the plants to grow, lightly covering them with soil. The seeds require sunshine to germinate, so they should not be buried deeply. Water the area gently but keep it consistently moist until germination, which usually occurs within 2-3 weeks. Once seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be thinned out to prevent overcrowding and ensure proper growth.