Meadow Knapweed (Centaurea x moncktonii)

Download 193K pdf file ("meadow_knapweed.pdf")PDF
     Subscribe to our free E-Newsletter, "Agri-News" (formerly RTW This Week)Agri-News
This Week
  Return to the Weed Information Home Page
[C. jacea × C. nigra]

Meadow knapweed is a deep-rooted perennial, growing each year from a woody root crown. Mature plants reach 1 m tall. Basal leaves are up to 15 cm long, tapering at both ends and having the broadest part above the middle of the leaf. Stem leaves are lance shaped, shallowly-lobed and stalkless. There are usually few to several stems with many branches. Flowers are generally rose-purple in color, although white flowers occasionally occur. The heads are solitary at the ends of the upper branches. They are broadly oval and almost globe-shaped, 1.3 cm long. The bracts of meadow knapweed are light to dark brown, with a fringed margin. Meadow knapweed is a fertile hybrid between black and brown knapweeds.

Key Identifiers
  • Plant will share traits from both Brown and Black Knapweeds
  • Fringes on bracts as long or longer than the width of the bract, not rigid; Fringe on bract tan to brown
  • Meadow knapweed prefers moister and cooler conditions than the other knapweeds
  • Location in Canada
BC, Nfld and Labr., NS, Ontario and Quebec all report the presence of Meadow Knapweed. Alberta has no reported locations.

Cindy Roche,

Cindy Roche,

Pacific Northwest Extension Publication - Identification of Knapweed and Starthistles in the Pacific Northwest

Similar species
(Centaurea spp.)Other knapweeds are going to be similar to meadow knapweed. The key feature for differentiating all knapweeds from one another is to compare the unique bracts. The link under “Resources” is an excellent resource to walk you through identifying knapweeds.

May be mistaken for a thistle at a passing glance but upon inspection, all parts of meadow knapweed lack spines.

Other Documents in the Series

  Bighead Knapweed (Centaurea macrocephala)
Black Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
Brown Knapweed (Centaurea jacea)
Common Crupina (Crupina vulgaris)
Common St John's-wort (Hypericum perfoatum)
Diffuse Knapweed (Centaurea diffusa)
Dyer's Woad (Isatis tinctoria)
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant Knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis)
Hoary Alyssum (Berteroa incana)
Hybrid Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia x bohemica)
Hybrid Knapweed (Centaurea x psammogena)
Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
Marsh Thistle (Cirsium palustre)
Meadow Hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum)
Meadow Knapweed (Centaurea x moncktonii) - Current Document
Mouse-ear Hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella)
Nodding Thistle (Carduus nutans)
Plumeless Thistle (Carduus acanthoides)
Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris)
Red Bartsia (Odontites vernus)
Rush Skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea)
Russian Knapweed (Rhaponticum repens)
Saltlover (Halogeton glomeratus)
Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stobe ssp. micranthos)
Squarrose Knapweed (Centaurea virgata ssp. squarrosa)
Sulphur Cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)
Tansy Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris/Senecio jacobaea)
Tyrol Knapweed (Centaurea nigrescens)
Yellow Starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis)
Share via
For more information about the content of this document, contact Chris Neeser.
This document is maintained by Shelley Barkley.
This information published to the web on April 2, 2012.
Last Reviewed/Revised on August 21, 2018.