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Spotted Knapweed

(Centaurea maculosa)

Spotted knapweed

Spotted Knapweed is of European origin. It is a biennial, or short-lived perennial forb with a stout taproot. It can have one or more stems that are branched , and from 1 to 3 feet tall. Basal leaves are up to 6 inches long, and narrowly elliptic in shape, but can vary. spotted knapweedFlowering heads are solitary on top stem branches. Bracts around the heads are stiff and tipped with a dark, comb-like fringe. This is a key difference between spotted and diffuse knapweeds; the bracts of diffuse are tipped with a definite slender spine. The showy flowers of spotted knapweed are pinkish-purple, or rarely cream colored. Spotted knapweed is often found on rangelands and other drier sites.


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