Iberian starthistle
Centaurea iberica Trev. ex Spreng


Centaurea iberica is an annual plant that grows 1-6 ft. (0.3-1.8 m) tall. It closely resembles purple starthistle and it is native to southern Europe.
The leaves are divided into narrow linear segments. Rosettes have spines in the center. Rosette forms in May and June. Centaurea iberica is covered with tiny hairs all over the plant.
Flower heads are purple with straw-colored spine-like bracts over 1 in. (2.5 cm) in length.
Seeds are plumed, the distinguishing factor between this plant and purple starthistle.
Ecological Threat
The sharp spines deter grazing animals, access to livestock and wildlife, reduce the value of hay and can impede recreational use. This weedy plant has the potential to become widely established, having significant impact to agriculture and wild land resources.


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 iberica Trev. ex Spreng

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
Iberian knapweed, Iberian star thistle, Iberian starthistle


Plants - Forbs/Herbs