Greater Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa)


A tall purple-flowering plant, Greater Knapweed may be found growing on dry grassland, woodland tracks, and roadsides in calcareous (alkaline) soils in the Southern and Eastern areas of the UK.

The long green stems each with a large (thistle like) flower can be seen June – September, and attract many different species of butterflies, moths and bees.

Some of the Butterflies attracted to Knapweed include the, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Green-veined White, Small White, Painted Lady, Silver-washed Fritllary, Marbled White, Brimstone, Large Skipper.

Greater Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa) flower head

Greater Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa) flower head

Greater Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa) attracts many species of butterflies

Greater Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa) attracts many different species of butterflies

Plant Information

  • Type: Perennial
  • Height: around 1m
  • Photographed: 20th July 2010
  • Location: Barnack Hills and Holes (NNR).
  • Similar to: (Centaurea nigra) Commonly known as, Common Knapweed, lesser Knapweed and Black Knapweed
  • Greater Knapweed has an unusual brown parasitic wild plant called “Knapweed Broomrape“.
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