Centaurea scabiosa (Greater Knapweed)

Full Sun
Soil Type:
Most Types
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Plant Overview

This British native wildflower grows in dry chalky grasslands, roadsides, hedgerows and cliffs throughout the UK. Purple-red flowers on tall, strong stems, in June, July and August.

The species is very valuable to bees and attracts many species of butterfly, such as the Marbled White, Painted Lady and Green-veined White, to name but a few, as well as moths and hoverflies.

Grow in a wildflower meadow or wildlife area or in a bed or border.

Makes an excellent cut flower.

Height and Spread: 75cm x 45cm.

Common names: Greater Knapweed; Ironhead; Black Top; Churls Head; Hardhead; Logger Head; Horse Knops; Bottleweed; Bullweed.

Synonym: Centaurea scabiosa var. petrophila

The flower head is a hard, solid mass, giving the plant local names such as Ironhead and Hardhead. The name Knapweed also comes from this feature, 'knap' being derived from knop or knob.

In some areas of Britain, it was traditional to give the flowers to the recently bereaved.








Photo: Michael Apel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

All our plants are supplied in 9cm pots unless otherwise specified. Plants in this size pot establish quickly in the garden and often outpace plants in bigger pots planted at the same time. Our potted plants can be planted immediately, unless otherwise noted, or you can leave them in their pots until you are ready to plant.
The majority of our plants are grown outdoors. This means that they follow their natural growth patterns and are ready to plant at any time of the year. If you order the plants in winter, they are likely to be dormant and died back to ground level, ready to shoot again in spring - just like the herbaceous perennials in your own garden. Very occasionally, in winter, we may indicate on the packing slip that a plant needs to be hardened off before planting out. This will be because it has just come out of a polytunnel. If you have any questions about our plants or growing methods, please feel free to drop us an email.
We grow most of what we sell ourselves, in our nursery in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Our prices include VAT at 20%.