Australia > All Weeds > Black Knapweed

Black Knapweed

Centaurea nigra

Origin: Native of Europe

Africa

Click on Map to see other species coming from the area
and geo-cultural connections


Flowering stem by Steve C.

Family: Asteraceae.

Known Hazards: None known.

Habitat: Grassland, waysides, cliffs etc to 600 metres.

Edibility Rating: 1 (1-5)

Medicinal Rating: 2 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics: Perennial erect herb to 0.9 (rarely to 1.2) m high. Stems ribbed, cobwebby, sometimes hairless with age. Basal leaves entire to lobed, 6–30 cm long, 0.5–3.5 cm wide, narrowed at base, withering in mature plants; lower stem leaves entire to toothed 1–8 cm long, 0.2–1 cm wide; upper leaves smaller, entire to sparsely toothed, oblong to lanceolate. Seeds flattened, 3–4 mm long, sparsely short hairy, pale brown, topped by a few bristles to 1 mm long or without bristles.
Flowers: Many small flowers (florets) in solitary heads at ends of branches. Flowers spring to autumn.The flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.


Distinguishing features: Distinguished by presence of rhizomes; erect habit; leaves not spiny; flowerheads mostly 12–18 mm wide; middle bracts with a narrow waist between base and fringed upper section, fringe hairy, dark brown top blackish; all florets tubular, pink to purple (rarely white), arising from a hairy receptacle, outer petal-like florets with forked tips.

Dispersal: Spread by seed, rhizomes and root pieces.



Edible Uses

Flower petals - raw. Added to salads.

Medicinal Uses

Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Tonic. The roots and seeds are diaphoretic, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary. The plant once had a very high reputation as a healer of wounds.

Other Uses

None known

Notes: Seeds germinate in cooler months, plants maturing in summer and dying back in autumn. Probably introduced as an ornamental in early 1900s.Mainly invades overgrazed and poor pastures. Plants not eaten by stock. Reduces carrying capacity of pasture. There is some overseas evidence that Black Knapweed reduces growth of nearby plants.

References:

     


Pic by Steve C

Image from Wikispecies

 

Australia > All Weeds > African Lovegrass

SITE MAP

Site Map

Weed List | Historical Connections
Culinary Uses | Other Projects | Medical Uses
Contact | About The Project | Traditional Craft | Useful Links

Feedback

National Strategy Weeds Rescue
Email:info[a]weedyconnection[.]com

Privacy Statement

Legal Notice

Weeds Committee

Weed List Culinary Uses Contact Traditional Craft Feedback Historical Connections Other Projects About The Project Medical Uses Useful Links Home

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You can copy, distribute, display this works but: Attribution is required, its for Non-Commercial purposes, and it's Share Alike (GNUish/copyleft) i.e. has an identical license. We also ask that you let us know (info[at]weedyconnection[dot]com) if you link to, redistribute, make a derived work or do anything groovy with this information.
Creative Commons License