Warning: Centaurea montana has a strong potential to become an invasive pest plant. It is included here only as an aid to identification and not to promote its cultivation in any way whatsoever.
Centaurea montana is an evergreen perennial native to Europe, where it is especially common in southern, mountainous regions. Although it is a handsome plant, it should not be cultivated outside of its native range since it exhibits invasive and weedy tendencies. Chief among these are its evergreen growth habit, which allows it to start growth ahead of deciduous native plants in the spring and to continue growing in the autumn after deciduous native plants have gone dormant. Other invasive characteristics include a ready tendency to self-seed and escape from cultivation; an ability to grow in many different habitats over an extremely wide altitudinal range; a wide tolerance for different soil types; an ability to grow in acidic, neutral, and alkaline soils; drought tolerance; and the ability to establish new plants from small pieces of roots. It has escaped from cultivation in Scandinavia, the British Isles, Canada, and the northern United States, including Alaska. Additionally, other species in the genus Centaurea have become invasive pest plants and Centaurea montana is listed by the United States Bureau of Land Management as an invasive weed species of concern.
The image above was taken by Gary Goforth while vacationing in France. An image showing a close-up of the flower can be found on Wikipedia.
- Bureau of Land Management. BLM National List of Invasive Weed Species of Concern. Visited 2009 June 27. Internet
- Keil, D.J. and J. Ochsmann. Centaurea montana in Flora of North America. Visited 2009 June 27. Internet
- Wikipedia. Centaurea montana. Visited 2009 June 27. Internet
© 2009 Gary Goforth. All rights reserved. Used with permission.