Regularity: Regularly occurring
Habitat and Ecology
C. gymnocarpa belongs to the group known as the "cineraria" group. This group probably was once a single species when the land masses were united, but as islands were formed, new species evolved on each island. This means that today there are a number of closely related species of Centaurea in the Mediterranean growing on rocky seaward cliffs, all probably related to a common ancestor.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Legally: This species is protected by the law 56/2000, which is a law guiding biodiversity conservation in the Tuscan region, and is quite similar to the EC Habitats Directive. Under this law, it is forbidden to collect any species in this genus.
In situ: Four of the eight known subpopulations occur in the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. The Park includes a protected terrestrial area of just under 18,000 ha, and a marine protected area of approximately 60,000 ha (making it the largest European marine park). The objective of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park is to protect this fragile natural environment, which is very rich in cultural and scientific values.
Ex situ: The species is cultivated in the Botanical Garden of Florence.
Monitoring of all subpopulations is needed, and a programme to remove invasive alien plants which threaten one of the subpopulations needs to be undertaken. Efforts to ensure that these alien species do not start growing in the other areas where this species is found are also very important. Once the alien species have been eradicated, a re-introduction programme will be planned, using specimens propagated from the threatened population.
Centaurea cineraria, the Velvet Centaurea, is – like some other plants – also known as "dusty miller" and "silver dust". It is a small plant in the family Asteraceae and originates from the Island of Capraia in Italy, where it is called fiordaliso delle scogliere.
The mature plants will grow from 15 cm to 60 cm (6inches to 24 inches). They prefer full sun, but will tolerate light shade, and also prefers average to rich well-drained soil.
C. cineraria will produce small white or yellow flowers in summer, but these are usually trimmed because the plant is normally grown as foliage.
Depending on climate, it can be grown as either an annual or as a perennial.
Common varieties include: "Silver Dust", "Silver Lace" and "Cirrus". The image above the scientific classification is a plant of the "Silver Lace" variety.
- Euro+Med Plantbase lists Centaurea gymnocarpa as an accepted species, while the Global Compositae Checklist lists it as a synonym of Centaurea cinerea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Version 2014.1, states "C. gymnocarpa belongs to the ... "cineraria" group ... probably was once a single species, ... but as islands were formed, new species evolved on each island."
- Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (1992-05-20). "Taxon: Centaurea cineraria L." (HTML). Taxonomy for Plants. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem. "Details for: Centaurea cineraria" (HTML). Euro+Med PlantBase. Freie Universität Berlin. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- Ellis, Barbara W., "Taylor's Guide to Annuals, How to Select and Grow More Than 400 Annuals, Bienniels, and Tender Perenniels", 1999 Haughton Mifflin Company, New York, NY
- Armitage, Allan M., "Armitage's Manual of Annuals, Bienniels, and Half Hardy Perenniels", illustrated Asha Kays and Chris Johnson, 2001 Timber Press Inc., Singapore
Centaurea gymnocarpa is a species of flowering plant in the Asteraceae family. It is endemic to Italy. Its natural habitats are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation and rocky areas. While it is an endangered species in the wild, it is sometimes used in gardens as an ornamental plant.
- Foggi, B. 2006. Centaurea gymnocarpa. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 20 July 2007.
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