Common & Chalk Knapweed

Centaurea nigra/debauxii

Common Name:
Common & Chalk Knapweed
Scientific Name:
Centaurea nigra/debauxii
Rank:
Dicots
Division:
Flowering Plants
Family (Vernacular):
aster and thistle family
Family (Scientific):
Asteraceae
Longevity:
Perennial
Status1:
Native
Soil Moisture:
Dry
Star Rating:
Flowering:
Jun - Aug
Height:
30 - 60cm

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Species Description

Knapweeds are native perennials growing 30-60 cm in height and produce purple flowers from June to August. The two most frequent species in our area are Common Knapweed and Chalk Knapweed (not restricted to chalky soils). The flowers of both species (which in some forms are rayed) attract large numbers and a wide diiversity of pollinator species.

Habitat Advice

Both of these closely related knapweed species can be important components of established grasslands in a wide range of habitats that includes pasture land, road verges, cliff tops, woodland margins and brownfield sites. They grow in light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, preferring well-drained soils and even if nutritionally poor and are drought-tolerant. Once established, with appropriate management, they will self-seed and form strong populations capable of supporting large aggregations of pollinator species.