Centaurea nigra

Botanical Name :Centaurea nigra
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Centaurea
Species: C. nigra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:Lesser Knapweed, Common Knapweed and Black Knapweed. A local vernacular name is Hardheads.

Habitat:Centaurea nigra is native to Europe but it is known on other continents as an introduced species and often a noxious weed.

Description:
Centaurea nigra is a perennial herb growing up to about a metre in height.

The leaves are up to 25 centimetres long, usually deeply lobed, and hairy. The lower leaves are stalked, whilst the upper ones are stalkless.

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The inflorescence contains a few flower heads, each a hemisphere of black or brown bristly phyllaries. The head bears many small bright purple flowers. The fruit is a tan, hairy achene 2 or 3 millimetres long, sometimes with a tiny, dark pappus. Flowers July until September.

Flowers sometimes are yellow, or white.Important for Gatekeeper butterfly, Goldfinch, Honey bee, Large skipper, Lime-speck pug moth, Meadow Brown, Painted lady, Peacock, Red admiral, Small copper, Small skipper

Medicinal Uses:
A medieval wound salve.  Used to soothe sore throats and bleeding gums.  Also acts as a diuretic.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaurea_nigra

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/centaureanigr.html

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