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

Centaurea melitensis L.
Maltese star-thistle
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9829)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Centaurea melitensis
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Annual herb from a taproot; stems erect, winged, ridged, branched, 15-70 cm tall.
Basal leaves oblanceolate, toothed to lobed, hairy; stem leaves becoming lanceolate to linear-oblong, entire and reduced.
Heads discoid, few to numerous, solitary or 2-5 at the ends of branches; involucres 8-15 mm tall, nearly as wide; involucral bracts glabrous, the outer ones leathery, with a 5-9 mm terminal spine bearing 2-3 pairs of short, lateral spines; disk flowers bright yellow, all tubular and perfect, 8-11 mm long.
Achenes grey, with regular narrow, longitudinal stripes, 1-3 mm long; pappus white, 2.5-3 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic disturbed areas in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC, known recently only from Samuel and Georgeson Islands in the Gulf Islands; introduced from the Mediterranean region.

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