LESSER KNAPWEED

Centaurea nemoralis

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

Pappus: pappusZpossible (short)
pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct

flower
flower8purple
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZMany
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8ribbed

2nd Aug 2005, Appley Bridge, Leeds & L/pool Canal. Photo: © RWD
Grows to a similar height to Common Knapweed, indeed, the two may be different manifestations of the same plant!


2nd Aug 2005, Appley Bridge, Leeds & L/pool Canal. Photo: © RWD
It is branched, with stiff but thin stems and Thistle-like flowers atop each stem.


7th Aug 2007, Leeds & L/pool Canal, nr Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
Un-like Common Knapweed the leaves are narrow lanceolate, almost linear, but still attached directly to the stem without stalks.


2nd Aug 2005, Appley Bridge, Leeds & L/pool Canal. Photo: © RWD
A near spherical brown bud has a profusion of purple did=sc florets protruding from the top like a shaving brush. Stem is ribbed


2nd Aug 2005, Appley Bridge, Leeds & L/pool Canal. Photo: © RWD


2nd Aug 2005, Appley Bridge, Leeds & L/pool Canal. Photo: © RWD
Going to seed. There are brown and hairy phyllaries on the flower bud.


7th Aug 2007, Leeds & L/pool Canal, nr Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
Un-like Common Knapweed, the stem scarcely thickens towards the top.


7th Aug 2007, Leeds & L/pool Canal, nr Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
Lower down the stem the narrow lanceolate leaves possess auricles, a distinguishing feature of Lesser Knapweed. New branches may sprout just above the leaf junction.


2nd Aug 2005, Appley Bridge, Leeds & L/pool Canal. Photo: © RWD
New branches sprouting just above the leaf junctions..


Not to be semantically confused with: Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) nor with similar Centauries such as Seaside Centaury (Centaurium littorale) [plants whose scientific names are similar, but which are in a totally different Family altogether, the Gentian Family (Gentianaceae)].

Easily mistaken for : Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra) but that has wider lanceolate leaves and is a greyer green. Both have rayed and un-rayed versions, but the rayed version of Lesser Knapweed has reddish purple flowers rather than purple the ones of Common Knapweed and looks quite different from Common Knapweed.

Lesser Knapweed may not exist as a separate entity in its own right, but be one end of a continuous spectrum between two extremes, the other bound being Common Knapweed. For more see Common Knapweed. It is recognised only as Centaurea nigra subsp. nemoralis. Intermediates occur where both Centaurea nigra subsp. nigra (Common Knapweed)and Centaurea nigra subsp. nemoralis grow together.

May Hybridise with : the very rare Brown Knapweed(Centaurea jacea) if Lesser Knapweed is the same plant (and is thus highly variable) as Common Knapweed. If it is, then the result is Hybrid Knapweed (Centaurea × gerstlaueri). For details see Common Knapweed.

Not to be confused semantically with : Knotgrasses such as Knotgrass, Cornfield Knotgrass, Equal-leaved Knotgrass or Northern Knotgrass which belong to the Dock & Knotweed Family, namely Polygonium [they both have similar names]. Nor should they be confused with Knotweeds such as Giant Knotweed, Japanese Knotweed or Lesser Knotweed which also belong to the Dock & Knotweed Family (Polygonium).

Grows in waste places and other rough ground.


  Centaurea nemoralis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  
genus8Centaurea
Centaurea
(Knapweeds)

LESSER KNAPWEED

Centaurea nemoralis

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

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