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Purple Starthistle - Centaurea calcitrapa
Family: Asteraceae

THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

Description

Purple starthistle is an annual or biennial with a stout taproot. The leaves are simple, glabrous to pubescent. The leaf margins vary and can be pinnatifid, dentate, serrulate or entire. The upper leaves are sessile and slightly clasping; the lower leaves are short petioled. The flowers, in heads, are purple to pinkish. The involucre, 10-18 mm high, has bracts that are spinose ciliate to stoutly spine-tipped. Pappus absent. The fruit is an achene, compressed or obscurely four-sided.

Interesting facts

Purple starthistle can be locally abundant in fields, pastures, and waste places. A biennial, the plant reproduces primarily by seeds.

Starthistle can rapidly colonize new sites displacing native vegetation, hence diminishing both the area and the nutrient supply for native species.

Links to more information


Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

 

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