Centaurea stoebe

Biennial or short-lived perennial; multiple stems with several coming from each rosette. Leaves are oblong and wider at the tip. Leaves and stems are blue-gray in color. Flowers are purple, tips of flower heads are urn-shaped. Bracts are usually black, thus the name “spotted”.

spotted knapweed flower

Photo credit: Leslie J. Mehrhoff

spotted knapweed rosette

Photo credit: Leslie J. Mehrhoff

spotted knapweed whole plant

Photo credit: Bruce Ackley

  • spotted knapweed flower
  • spotted knapweed rosette
  • spotted knapweed whole plant

Plant Details


Roadsides, gravel bars, pasutres, grasslands.
Mature Height:
Target Audience:
R-o-W and river folks, powerlines
ODA Listing:
Plant Look Alikes:
Other knapweeds, cornflower, bachelor’s buttons
Plant Impacts:
Forms dense stands on any open ground; can form monotypic stands
Plant Links:
King County Spotted Knapweed Info
CWMA Actions List:
volunteer response, contractor response