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botanical name:
Centaurea nigra
Centaurea nigra © Deeproot Plant Base
common name:  Common Knapweed, Lesser Knapweed
family:  Asteraceae
characteristics: perennial
height: 1.20m
width: 0.60m
growth rate: medium
growth habit: erect
leaf colour: grey-green
flower colour: purple
fruit colour: brown
stem/bark: green
main season: Summer
aspect: full sun, part shade
conditions: dry soil, moist soil, sandy soil, coastal
preferred soil pH: neutral-alkaline
minimum temp: -35°C
USDA zone: 4 to 8
description:
Perennial wildflower of grasslands and meadows. Downy with branching stems and oval to lance-shaped, green to grey-green leaves, which are much narrower on the upper stems Reddish or pinkish purple flowerheads, sometimes with long-stalked ray florets, and overlapping, scale-like, brown bracts, forming a knobbly head that later encloses the bristly fruits. Flowers from June to September.
May vary in form locally.

cultivation:
Well drained soil in full sun or part shade.

propagation:
By seed.

usage:
Wildflower gardens.

other notes:
British native. Widespread distribution and common on grassllands, roadsides, sand-dunes and sea cliffs. Less frequently seen than previously, due to modern farming styles.

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