Greater knapweed

Beautiful, durable, extremely resistant to drought and heat plant with purple flowers. A great canteen for solitary bees, bumblebees, and butterflies. The caterpillars of the knapweed fritillary butterfly feed on the shoots and leaves of the greater knapweed.

Wild, non-cultivar seeds.

SKU: N021

18,00 78,00 

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About the species

Polish name: scabious cornflower

Latin name: Centaurea scabiosa L.

Family: the asters Asteraceae (the composites Compositae), subfamily: Carduoidae

Status in Poland: native, common

perennial plant
Flower color:
to approx. 100 cm


A strong perennial with strong roots, an erect stem and a woody, usually branched, root neck. Juveniles are cobweb-like-hairy, go bare with age, but remain rough. Leaves pinnatisect or bipinnatisect. Basal leaves with long petioles, medium leaves short petioles, and the uppest ones sessile.

Inflorescence in the form of flower heads, composed of disc (bisexual, fertile) and ray (sterile) flowers. The color of the inflorescence is usually dark purple, turning to light purple, only sometimes lighter, pink. Greater knapweed usually blooms from July to September, exceptionally already in June to October.

Fruits in the form of achenes.

Note! The greater knapweed is a very changeable, rapidly evolving plant. Individual specimens differ greatly in both the size and habit of the entire specimens, as well as the dimensions of the flower heads, the shape of the appendages, and finally the length of the pappus.

Additional information


An excellent species for sowing “difficult” urban and post-industrial areas.

Contrary to cornflower, it prefers neutral, alkaline, calcium-rich, clay soils. In addition, it requires more humus soil than cornflower. As a species of slopes and forest margins, it tolerates partial shade.

The valued plant for its resistance to lack of water.


Interesting facts

Polish and Latin name „scabious” emphasizes the similarity of this cornflower to scabiouses (pincushions) Scabiosa.

The Old Polish word used to name this flower was also used to describe a medicine produced from ages from snake venom.

The caterpillars of the rare in Europe butterfly feed on the leaves of the greater knapweed: knapweed fritillary Melitea phoebe.

Greater knapweed in seed mixtures:

Use Value

Very high, not much lower than the cornflower.

Due to the nectar-rich flowers blooming in late summer and early autumn, the greater knapweed has been introduced for years by beekeepers and NGOs saving bumblebees to mixes for bee pastures.

When sown in high density, it perfectly supplies bees’ feed, allowing them to better prepare for winter, and at the same time giving the honey an original aftertaste.

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