Centaurea jacea L.
brown knapweed (brownray knapweed)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Robert Flogaus-Faust     (Photo ID #26211)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Centaurea jacea
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Species Information

Perennial herb from a taproot; stems erect, branched, glabrous or somewhat woolly or cobwebby, 0.1-1.2 m tall.
Basal leaves oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, long-stalked, toothed or shallowly lobed to entire, hairy above and below, the blade up to 15 cm long and 3 cm wide; stem leaves reduced and becoming unstalked upward.
Heads discoid, few to several, solitary at the ends of erect branches; disk flowers rose to purple, rarely white, the marginal ones enlarged and conspicuous; involucres 15-20 mm tall, nearly as wide; involucral bracts with enlarged, broad, rounded, papery, tattered, tan to dark brown appendages at the tips, these wider than the bracts.
Achenes light brown with a few lighter longitudinal lines, 3-3.5 mm long; pappus lacking.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry roadsides and fields in the montane zone; rare in WC BC, known recently only from the Smithers area; introduced from Europe.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia