CENTAUREA scabiosa

Greater Knapweed,
Hardheads, Great Knapweed



Height: 1-2' (30-60cm)
Flowering Time: Summer
Flower Colour: Purple

Botanical Classification:


Angiospermae (Angiosperms)
Subclass: Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons)
Superorder: Asteridae (Daisy Superorder)
Order: Asterales (Daisy Order)
Family: Asteraceae (Daisy Family)
Genus: Centaurea (Knapweed)
Species: scabiosa (like Scabious)
Centaurea scabiosa

Centaurea scabiosa is one of the most impressive wildflowers of chalk downland, with large and conspicuous purple flowers. It is a tough woody plant, with a strong, straight, slightly hairy stem and large, rough pinnate leaves. The flowers are around 3" across, bright purple, with the outer 'petals' extended and divided into a fringe, held in a tough cup of brown overlapping scales.

Centaurea scabiosa has been used as a traditional medicinal plant to treat kidney problems, mouth ulcers, and to aid the healing of wounds.


Harvesting and Growing from Seed:


( days)

Seed Pod There is no seedpod. The seeds are held in a daisy-like seedhead. There are many
seeds in a seedhead.

Seed The seeds are large and woody, initially with a small parachute.

Seedling The seedling has rounded leaves.

(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)
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