Spotted knapweed – Centaurea stoebe

Spotted knapweed

Centaurea stoebe L. ssp. micranthos (Gugler) Hayek
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Life cycle
Biennial or short-lived perennial.

Leaves
First-year leaves originate from a basal rosette,followed by a flowering stem in the second year. Basal leaves are deeply and irregularly lobed on long stalks; stem leaves are alternate and finely dissected. Leaves are grayish green and roughly hairy.

Stems
Erect, wiry stems elongate during the second year, up to 6 feet tall with multiple branching. Stems are roughly hairy and often green to purple-striped.

Flowers and fruit
Terminal and axillary heads consist of purple to pink disk flowers above encircled by distinctly black-tipped bracts below. The seed is enclosed in a single-seeded, olive-green to brown fruit with a bristly pappus that can attach to animals for transport.

Reproduction
Seeds.

Spotted knapweed flower
Spotted knapweed flower
Spotted knapweed rosette
Spotted knapweed rosette
Spotted knapweed leaf
Spotted knapweed leaf
Spotted knapweed stem
Spotted knapweed stem

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