Centaurea nigra L.

Black Knapweed

Sp. Pl. 911 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Ascending, rhizomatous perennial to 1 m high. Basal leaves oblanceolate, to 25 cm long, 5 cm wide, entire to pinnatifid, acute, surfaces scabrous, margins undulate; cauline leaves lanceolate to oblong, 1–8 cm long, 2–10 mm wide, entire or sparsely toothed, acute, sometimes cobwebbed below, obscurely petiolate. Capitula solitary, broad-ovoid, 12–15 mm diam.; involucre 14–18 mm long; intermediate bracts ovate, glabrous, with a dark brown to blackish pectinate terminal appendage 2–4 mm long; inner involucral bracts longer but terminal appendage less deeply cut. Corolla 15–20 mm long, pale purple. Cypselas 3–4 mm long, pale brown, obscurely ribbed; pappus of bristles c. 1 mm long or absent. Flowers mainly spring and summer.

*CVU, *HSF, *VVP. Also naturalised SA. Native to Europe. A declared noxious weed in Victoria where found sporadically on roadsides, in pasture and other disturbed sites.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Asteraceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-07-23
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Asterales
family Asteraceae
genus Centaurea
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Centaurea nigra in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Centaurea nigra in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present cultivated
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia