Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Centaurea macrocephala
globe knapweed

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; central Washington to Montana, also in Colorado, and Great Lakes region to northeastern North America.

Habitat: Roadsides and meadows.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Perennial herbs, the several stems 50-170 cm. tall, erect, sparingly branched, thinly woolly.


Leaves alternate, the basal and lower cauline petiolate, becoming sessile upward; leaf blades dotted with glands, oblanceolate to narrowly ovate, 10-30 cm. long, entire or shallowly dentate.


Heads borne singly, sessile, closely subtended by clusters of reduced leaves; involucres ovoid to hemispheric, 25-35 mm. long, the involucral bracts glabrous, ovate to broadly lanceolate, pale green, with abruptly spreading appendages, brown, scarious, 1-2 cm. wide; flowers many, yellow, the outer sterile corollas slightly longer than the central, fertile corollas; pappus of flattened bristles 5-8 mm. long.


Achenes 7-8 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Centaurea macrocephala Puschkarew ex Willd.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 3: 2298. 1803.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Centaurea macrocephala in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Centaurea macrocephala checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Centaurea macrocephala information.

E-Flora BC: Centaurea macrocephala atlas page.

CalPhotos: Centaurea macrocephala photos.

USDA Plants: Centaurea macrocephala information.

5 photographs:
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