Lesser Knapweed

Lesser Knapweed Plant Information


Lesser Knapweed grows in the following 28 states:

Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin, Oregon, West Virginia, California, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington

It is native to Europe but it is known on other continents as an introduced species and often a noxious weed.Centaurea nigra is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common names lesser knapweed, common knapweed and black knapweed. A local vernacular name is hardheads.

It is a perennial herb growing up to about a metre in height.
The leaves are up to 25 centimetres long, usually deeply lobed, and hairy. The lower leaves are stalked, whilst the upper ones are stalkless.
The inflorescence contains a few flower heads, each a hemisphere of black or brown bristly phyllaries. The head bears many small bright purple flowers. The fruit is a tan, hairy achene 2 or 3 millimetres long, sometimes with a tiny, dark pappus. Flowers July until September. flowers sometimes are yellow, or white
In Europe, the plant is an important source of food for the European goldfinch, honey bee, lime-speck pug moth, and the following butterflies: large skipper, meadow brown, painted lady, peacock, red admiral, small copper and small skipper.
Brown knapweed Centaurea jacea is different in having pale brown bract appendages, no pappus. Flowers August until September.

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