Greater Knapweed - Centaurea scabiosa


    Medium to tall robust somewhat bristly plant to 1.5 metres. Stems erect, branched above. Leaves usually pinnately lobed with oblong or linear segments. Flowerheads purple, large 30 to 50 mm the outer florets much longer than the inner.

    Similar Species

    Centaurea nigra

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Leaves pinnately lobed; outer florets longer than inner 


    Rough grassy habitats, scrub and roadsides on dry calcareous soils.

    When to see it

    Late June to September.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread but local in England, scarcer or more coastal elsewhere in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional. Mainly found in the north east of Leicestershire and in parts of Rutland with most other VC55 records coming from railway verges. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 26 of the 617 tetrads.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map