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Centaurea montana ‘Amethyst in Snow’ (photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour)
Centaurea montana ‘Amethyst in Snow’ (photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour)

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Zone
Zones 2-9, 14-24, 29-43
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Centaurea macrocephala

Asteraceae (Compositae)
Perennials

CENTAUREA

Out of some 500 species, only a dozen or so are widely cultivated. Of these, annuals are grown mainly for cut flowers; perennial kinds are valued for soft, silvery foliage. All are relatively easy to grow. For best performance, add lime to acid soils. Sow seeds of annuals or set out plants of perennial kinds in spring or fall. (In desert regions, plant all in autumn for winter and spring bloom.)

Centaurea macrocephala (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Centaurea macrocephala (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Centaurea macrocephala

Perennial, from the Caucasus. Attractive, coarse-foliaged, leafy plant grows to 3–4 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide. Blooms in summer, bearing 2-in. clusters of yellow flowers tightly wrapped at the base with overlapping, shiny, papery brown bracts. Flower heads resemble thistles. Use in fresh or dried arrangements.

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