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Centaurea scabiosa

Centaurea scabiosa or Greater Knapweed is a perennial plant of the genus Centaurea. It is native to Europe and bears purple flower heads.

Greater knapweed is found growing in dry grasslands, hedgerows and cliffs on lime-rich soil. Upright branched stems terminate in single thistle-like flowerheads, each having an outer ring of extended, purple-pink 'ragged' bracts which form a crown around the central flowers. The plant has deeply dissected leaves which form a clump at the base.

This species is very valuable to bees. It is also a magnet for many species of butterfly. Among them is the Marbled White.

This is the only known foodplant for caterpillars of the Coleophoridae case-bearer moth Coleophora didymella. Centaurea scabiosa has been used in traditional herbal healing as either a vulnerary or an emollient.

The plant is sometimes confused with Devils-bit Scabious, however the leaves on this plant are arranged alternately, whereas in Devils-bit they are opposite.[1]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Rose, Francis (1981). The Wild Flower Key. Frederick Warne & Co. pp. 385–387. ISBN 0-7232-2419-6. 
  • The Wild Flower Key British Isles-N.W. Europe by Francis Rose, page 385

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