A pink-flowered Mediterranean plant introduced into Britain, where it became a cornfield weed. It has since been almost eradicated because its poisonous seeds contaminate flour.
Agrostemma githago, family Caryophyllaceae‘Other imports include the poisonous corncockle from the Mediterranean, the Himalayan balsam and the New Zealand willowherb, an aggressive weed.’
- ‘An arable area at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens - part of the Go Wild festival - includes a crop with key colourful plants like common poppy, corn marigold and corncockle, plus some clover and a ‘game strip’ down one side.’
- ‘In many ways this is rural France's most appealing region, an area of winding back roads, of lost-and-gone hamlets, of tree-smothered hills and of wheat fields bright with poppies and corncockles.’
- ‘And some of them, such as poppies, cornflowers and corncockles are exquisitely beautiful as well.’
- ‘The flowers of the corncockle have undivided petals and are reddish-purple.’
Early 18th century from corn + cockle (from Old English coccul ‘corncockle’, perhaps via Latin from Greek kokkos ‘berry’).