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Asteraceae

Centaurea americana Nutt.

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Species Parent: Centaurea Status: Invalid Reason: unverified

Common Names:

  • BASKET-FLOWER - English, United States of America
  • AMERICAN BASKET-FLOWER - English, United States of America
  • POWDERPUFF THISTLE - English, United States of America
  • THORNLESS-THISTLE - English, United States of America
  • CARDO DEL VALLE - Spanish, Mexico
  • AMERICAN KNAPWEED - English, United States of America
  • STAR-THISTLE - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Annual; stems 0.3–2 m tall; leaves sessile, ± entire, glabrous or sparsely scabrous and gland-dotted; heads solitary at the ends of branches, large, (3–)4–8(–10) cm across including the corollas, quite showy, 1–few per plant; phyllaries appressed, imbricate, of 2 distinct parts, the lower part light green, entire, the upper part straw-colored and pectinately dissected into narrow lobes; corollas pink to occasionally deep purple-red (rarely white); marginal corollas larger, to 5 cm long; central corollas to 3.2 cm long.

Other

Notes: Disturbed areas; widespread in TX. May–Jul. Sometimes cultivated. The basket-like appearance of the overlapping dissected phyllaries gives this species its common name. The stamens are reported to be sensitive to touch; when touched by insects they suddenly contract and push pollen out onto the pollinator (Kirkpatrick 1992). (americana: of America)