Centaurea solstitialis 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)

yellow starthistle

Primary Disseminule Type

2 fruit types—epappous and pappous

Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit a cypsela, of 2 types (epappous and pappous), both oblong to obovate, slightly compressed, cross-section elliptic, 2–3 mm long x 0.9–1.2 mm wide x 0.8–1 mm thick, surface glabrous, base broad.

Epappous cypselas smooth, dull, dark brown to black with lighter-colored mottling, apical rim light-colored, style base cylindrical to lobed, fruit attachment scar lateral, slightly notched.

Pappous cypselas smooth, shiny, white, pale yellow or light brown with various amounts of dark mottling, apical rim horizontal and light-colored, pappus persistent, consisting of outer whorls of white, slender, stiff unequal bristles 2–5 mm long and an inner whorl of bristles covering the inconspicuous style base, fruit attachment scar 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)