Centaurea calcitrapa L.

Family: Asteraceae, Tribe: Cynareae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)


Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

purple starthistle

Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit a cypsela, oblong to obovate, compressed, cross-section elliptic, 2.5–3.5 mm long x 1.5–2 mm wide x 0.9–1 mm thick. Surface typically glabrous, dull to shiny, gray with various amounts of brown mottling and thin striping. Pappus none.

Style base cylindrical to lobed, whitish, sitting on a whitish mound surrounded by a pericarp-colored collar 1–1.1 mm across.

Fruit attachment scar whitish, in lateral hook-shaped depression.

Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)