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Common Name: Greater Knapweed
Centaurea scabiosa is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.90 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
Much of Europe, including Britain, north to 68° N., east to the Caucasus and W. Asia.
Pastures, field edges and roadsides, usually on chalk[
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera, Self
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
]. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil and a sunny position[
]. Tolerates dry, low fertility and alkaline soils[
Does well in the summer meadow[
]. An important nectar plant for bees and butterflies[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
The roots and seeds are diaphoretic, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary[
]. The plant once had a very high reputation as an ingredient of the Medieval 'salve', an ointment applied to heal wounds and treat skin infections[
Seed - sow early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.
Division in autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring. This should be done at least once every three years in order to maintain the vigour of the plant.
Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.