Centaurea stoebe
spotted knapweed

Centaurea stoebe

Centaurea stoebe
Centaurea stoebe
Photos courtesy Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown
Botanical name: Centaurea stoebe
Common name: spotted knapweed
Group: dicot
Family: Asteraceae
Growth type: forb/herb
Duration: biennial; perennial
Origin: introduced; invasive
Plant height: 12 - 60"
Foliage: heavily dissected, pinnately compound
Flower: pinkish purple, solitary; involucral bracts without widened tip
Flowering time: late June to October
Habitat: weed of dry disburbed ground of fields, roadsides
Range in New Jersey: statwide and increasing
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Distribution: Centaurea stoebe
Misc. Introduced in the 1890s as seeds mixed with alfalfa. Dispersed by seed, animals, birds, and rodents. There are no known wildlife benefits and is considered an invasive weed.

Four species of Centaurea grow in NJ, all invasive, with this being the most common.

NJ's Invasive Species Report, pdf