Centaurea nigra – Knapweed

A common and familiar wild perennial (also available in our wild flower seed list) a plant with purple thistle like flower heads but spineless leaves and stem. It is a tufted herbaceous plant with broad lanceolate leaves whose rosettes can persist through winter. It produces stout tall flowering stalks in summer, and its seeds heads (hard-heads) often persist into late autumn/winter.

Type Seeds per gram Origin Ordering
Grassland Perennial 450 England Currently unavailable

Habitat Information
Common knapweed grows on a  wide range of low to moderately fertile soils. It thrives in grassy habitats including meadows, pastures, road verges, field borders, waste ground, scrub land and woodland edges. It can persist for many years in both grazed pasture and neglected tussocky grassland.  Flowers are pollinated by a wide range of insects including bees, flies, butterflies and beetles and the resulting seed heads attract goldfinches and other seed feeding birds.

Growing Information
Grows readily from seed sown at any time of the year.

Its leaves are readily grazed livestock, especially by sheep. Its wiry flowering stalks are however normally avoided by stock.

It is a deep rooted species so will stay green longer in drought, and will pull up minerals from deeper soil profiles into its foliage.

The amount of knapweed in a sward will depend on the type and frequency of management. Infrequent grazing or mowing of a mixed sward produces an increase in the amount and vigour of knapweed , as does delaying grazing or mowing a sward through to autumn. Continuous hard grazing will tend to eliminate knapweed.

The Knapweed we are supplying as a herb in our grazing mixture EG27 is the the same wild form that we supply in wild flower mixtures. click here to order this

Species currently unavailable or of restricted availability

Sorry, this species is currently unavailable to order as a single item as we have no stock. For more information please see availability note above.


£/1kg -
£/100g -
£/10g -
£/1g £3.00


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