purple starthistle

Asterales > Asteraceae > Centaurea calcitrapa L.
Synonym(s): red starthistle

Purple starthistle is a biennial to perennial plant. It grows 2 to 3 ft. (0.6-0.9 m) tall. The stems and leaves are covered with fine hairs. Lower and basal leaves are divided or deeply lobed. Leaves become less divided toward the apex of the plant. Flowering occurs from July to October, when purple to pink blooms develop at the ends of the stems. Floral bracts are tipped with 1 in. (2.5 cm) long, straw colored spines. A native of southern Europe, purple starthistle produces prolific seeds and often invades floodplains, dry forests and grasslands. This plant is common in many western states and may occasionally be found in some Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic States.



Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Plant(s); Rosette
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Malcolm Storey, BioImages - Virtual Field-Guide, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Sharp spines
Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Arizona - Noxious Weed Law
  • California - Noxious Weed Law
  • California - Invasive Plant Inventory
  • New Mexico - Noxious Weed Law
  • Nevada - Noxious Weed Law
  • Oregon - Noxious Weed Law
  • Washington - Noxious Weed Law
  • Invasive Plants: Western North America
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia