Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos

Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos_ spotted knapweed_Bob Case_cropped
Photo: Bob Case

Synonyms: Centaurea maculosa; Centaurea biebersteinii, Centaurea stoebe ssp. stoebe and ssp. maculosa; Centaurea stoebe subsp. australis

Common names: spotted knapweed

Centaurea stoebe subsp. micranthos (spotted knapweed) is a biennial to short-lived perennial (family Asteraceae). It can be found in disturbed open sites, grasslands, overgrazed rangelands, roadsides and logged areas. It crowds out native species and forage for livestock, and can invade undisturbed native bunchgrass stands. An individual plant may produce as many as 40,000 seeds.

Jepson Manual, 2nd Edition: Centaurea stoebe subsp. micranthos

Cal-IPC Rating: High?

CDFA Rating: -*?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Species ID Card

Invasive Species ID Card - To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed a set of Species ID cards that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Centaurea stoebe_flower head_copyright_2007_NealKramer
    Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos (spotted knapweed) flower head. Photo: &#169 2007 Neal Kramer
    Centaurea stoebe micranthos_growth habit_copyright2001_GHMiller(CDFA)
    Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos (spotted knapweed) growth habit. Photo: &#169 2001 GH Miller, CDFA
    Centaurea stoebe micranthos_leaves (cauline) and stem_KeirMorse
    Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos (spotted knapweed) leaves (cauline) and stem. Photo: Keir Morse
    Centaurea stoebe micranthos_rosette_ZoyaAkulova
    Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos (spotted knapweed) rosette. Photo: Zoya Akulova
    Centaurea stoebe micranthos_seed_ZoyaAkulova
    Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos (spotted knapweed) seed. Photo: Zoya Akulova