Centaurea is a genus of between 300 – 600 plants within the Asteraceae family, native to the Eastern Hemisphere and Middle East. They are also commonly referred to as starthistles, knapweeds, loggerheads and cornflowers’. The name for Centaurea is based on a Greek myth whereby the centaur Chiron was wounded by a poisoned arrow. He later healed himself using the flowers of the Centaurea on his injuries. There is no proof that these plants have any medicinal qualities and so it is thought that there is some confusion with the classification of the plants documented.
Centaurea are annuals, perennials or subshrubs with elaborate thistle-like flower-heads that resemble miniature fireworks, decorating long slender stems and clumps of grey-green foliage throughout the summer months. An interesting feature piece that would look magnificent if situated within a wildflower meadow or garden.
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