Centaurea maculosa

Common Names: Spotted knapweed
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Aster family

A short-lived perennial which usually has a stout taproot, pubescent stems with wooly or cobwebby hairs when young. The erect or ascending plant stems grow 20 to 150 cm tall. The leaves are a pale grayish-green. They are covered in fine short hairs. First year plants produce a basal rosette, alternate, up to 15 cm long, deeply divided into lobes. It produces a stem in its second year of growth. Stem leaves are progressively less lobed, getting smaller toward the top. The stem is erect or ascending, slender, hairy and branching. Its seed is an achene about a quarter of an inch long, with a small bristly pappus at the tip which makes the wind its primary means of dispersal.

It grows on stream banks, pond shorelines, sand prairies, old fields and pastures, roadsides, and along railroads, and many open, disturbed areas.

Primary Flower Color: Pink
Secondary Flower Color: Blue/Purple
Edible Notes: Not edible.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.