Centaurea calcitrapa is native to southern Europe and northern Africa. It is listed as a noxious weed in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. These plants are unpalatable and increase on rangelands as more desirable forage plants are consumed. Dense stands are impenetrable because of the vicious spines on the mature involucres.

Centaurea ×pouzinii de Candolle, an apparently stabilized hybrid between Centaurea aspera (2n = 22) and C. calcitrapa (2n = 20), has been reported from California. A chromosome count of 2n = 42 has been reported from California material of this nothospecies (A. M. Powell et al. 1974). Centaurea ×pouzinii can be distinguished from C. calcitrapa by its shorter spines and by cypselae with a short pappus. Reports of C. calcitrapoides Linnaeus from North America are apparently based on this hybrid.


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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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