BugwoodWiki Article

Malta starthistle
Centaurea melitensis L.

Overview

Appearance
Centaurea melitensis is a winter annual with a yellow-flowered, spiny head that can reach a height of 3.3 ft. (1 m). tall.
Foliage
Leaves are alternate, linear or narrowly oblong with smooth, toothed margins. Leaf bases are decurrent and give the stems a winged appearance.
Flowers
Flowers are yellow, 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across, and surrounded by sharp, tan, 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long, spiny cobwebbed bracts. Blooming occurs from April to September.
Fruit
The fruit are 0.08-0.12 in. (2-3 mm) in length, grayish to tan in color with deeply notched bases and tan bristles that are 0.04-0.12 in. (1-3 mm) long.
Ecological Threat
Centaurea melitensis prefers disturbed areas such as grasslands, open woodlands, roadsides, fields, and pastures. It is native to Europe and North America.

Resources

Selected Images


5413049
5413049

Malta starthistle
Centaurea melitensis
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5392033

Malta starthistle
Centaurea melitensis
Flower(s)
John M. Randall
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5392034

Malta starthistle
Centaurea melitensis
Flower(s)
John M. Randall
5374354
5374354

Malta starthistle
Centaurea melitensis
Feature(s)
Joseph M. DiTomaso
5374355
5374355

Malta starthistle
Centaurea melitensis
Flower(s)
Joseph M. DiTomaso
5458135
5458135

Malta starthistle
Centaurea melitensis
Fruit(s)
D. Walters and C. Southwick
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5458136

Malta starthistle
Centaurea melitensis
Fruit(s)
D. Walters and C. Southwick
5458138
5458138

Malta starthistle
Centaurea melitensis
Fruit(s)
D. Walters and C. Southwick

Maps


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

EDDMapS Distribution

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

State Regulated List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Centaurea

Other System Links

Plants: CEME2
Bayer: CENME
GRIN: 316613
ITIS: 36965
NPDN Pest: PBFARBG

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
Maltese star-thistle, Malta starthistle, Maltese star thistle, Napa thistle, spotted knapweed, tocalote

Categories

Category: Forbs/Herbs