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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Great Starthistle - Centaurea scabiosa
Other Names:  Greater Knapweed

Non-native Species

Global Rank: GNR
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 1

External Links

General Description
Perennial. Stems erect, branched, 30–100 cm. Herbage glabrate. Leaves petiolate; blades lanceolate to ovate, 5–25 cm long, pinnately lobed, more deeply so above. Inflorescence with few heads. Involucres broadly campanulate, 12–25 mm high; phyllaries green with dark, scarious, pectinately branched appendages at the tip; the outer ovate; inner oblanceolate. Disk flowers numerous, rose-purple; the outer enlarged; inner corollas 20–25 mm long. Achenes 4–5 mm long, puberulent; pappus of numerous bristles (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Range Comments
Collected in Missoula and Lewis & Clark counties. Introduced in western and northeast U.S. and Canada (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 4

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 19. Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, part 6: Asteraceae, part 1. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiv + 579 pp.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Great Starthistle — Centaurea scabiosa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from