E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Robert Flogaus-Faust  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26211)

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Distribution of Centaurea jacea
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / 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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References