squarrose knapweed
Centaurea virgata Lam.


Centaurea virgata is a perennial forb that can grow 12-18 in. (30.5-45.7 cm) tall. This species is sometimes confused with diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa), but can be distinguished from Centaurea diffusa by the floral bracts. Bracts on Centaurea virgata are curved outward and are not laterally toothed.
The leaves are alternate and deeply dissected.
Flowering occurs in early to mid-summer, when pink flowers develop in heads at the tips of the branches.
Seeds are dispersed when the plant breaks off at the base and tumbles across the landscape dispersing seeds along the way.
Ecological Threat
Occurs in open disturbed sites, such as rangelands, roadsides, and grasslands. Centaurea virgata is native to the Mediterranean region.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Centaurea
Subject: Centaurea virgata Lam.

Synonyms and Other Names

Related Scientific Names:
Centaurea virgata ssp. squarrosa Lam. (Synonym)


Plants - Forbs/Herbs