Centaurea benedicta

(Linnaeus) Linnaeus

Sp. Pl. ed. 2, 2: 1296. 1763.

Common names: Blessed thistle chardon bénit
IntroducedIllustrated
Basionym: Cnicus benedictus Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 2: 826. 1753
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 19. Treatment on page 192. Mentioned on page 181, 183.

Annuals, to 60 cm. Stems often spreading or prostrate, usually branched throughout, usually reddish, ± loosely tomentose. Leaves mostly cauline, sessile and often short-decurrent or proximal tapering to winged petioles, blades lanceolate to oblanceolate, 6–25 cm, margins coarsely dentate or pinnately lobed, lobes and teeth armed with short, weak spines, faces sparsely to densely hairy with jointed multicellular hairs and slender cobwebby hairs, resin-gland-dotted. Heads disciform, borne singly, sessile, each subtended by involucrelike cluster of leaflike bracts. Involucres ± spheric, 20–40 mm. Phyllaries in several series, tightly overlapping, outer ovate with tightly appressed bases and spreading spine tips, inner lanceolate, tipped by pinnately divided spines more than 5 mm. Florets many; corollas yellow, those of sterile florets linear, 3-lobed, not exceeding disc corollas, very slender, those of disc-florets 19–24 mm. Cypselae cylindric, slightly curved, 8–11 mm, with 20 prominent ribs, tipped by a 10-dentate rim, glabrous, attachment scars lateral; pappi of 2 series of awns, outer 9–10 mm, smooth or ± roughened, inner 2–5 mm, roughened with short spreading hairs. 2n = 22.


Phenology: Flowering spring–summer (Apr–Aug).
Habitat: Roadsides, fields, waste places, sometimes cultivated
Elevation: 0–1300 m

Distribution

V19-223-distribution-map.gif

Introduced; N.B., N.S., Ont., Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Conn., Fla., Ga., Ill., Md., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Oreg., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Va., Wash., Wis., Europe, Asia, widely worldwide

Discussion

Centaurea benedicta is native to the Mediterranean region and Asia Minor. F. K. Kupicha (1975) recognized two varieties of Cnicus benedictus: var. benedictus and var. kotschyi Boissier. A combination apparently has not been made for var. kotschyi in Centaurea. I have not determined whether one or both races are represented in North American plants of Centaurea benedicta.

Blessed thistle is cultivated in many areas of the world as a medicinal herb. The leaves, stems, and flowers are all used in herbal preparations for digestive and liver ailments.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

"fine" is not a number."fine" is not a number.

... more about "Centaurea benedicta"
with fine , 1-celled hairs +  and glabrous +
scarious +
erect;spreading +
less dentate or fringed linear +  and ovate +
indeterminate +  and determinate +
David J. Keil +  and Jörg Ochsmann +
(Linnaeus) Linnaeus +
decurrent +
Cnicus benedictus +
compound +  and simple +
lanceolate;oblanceolate +
6 cm60 mm <br />0.06 m <br /> (25 cm250 mm <br />0.25 m <br />) +
10-nerved or 20-nerved +  and rugose +
singly +  and cluster +
involucrelike +
barbed +  and smooth +
Blessed thistle +  and chardon bénit +
actinomorphic +
radial +  and bilateral +
white +  and blue pink purple or yellow +
inconspicuous +
expanded +  and slender +
cylindric +
fertile +  and bisexual +
N.B. +, N.S. +, Ont. +, Ala. +, Ariz. +, Ark. +, Calif. +, Conn. +, Fla. +, Ga. +, Ill. +, Md. +, N.J. +, N.Y. +, N.C. +, Oreg. +, S.C. +, Tenn. +, Tex. +, Utah +, Va. +, Wash. +, Wis. +, Europe +, Asia +  and widely worldwide +
0–1300 m +
glandular-punctate +
resin-gland-dotted +  and hairy +
pistillate +, staminate +  and neuter +
1.9 cm19 mm <br />0.019 m <br /> (2.4 cm24 mm <br />0.024 m <br />) +
winged +  and beaked +
dispersed +
Roadsides, fields, waste places, sometimes cultivated +
multicellular +  and jointed +
in corymbiform arrays +, singly +  and radiant +
indeterminate +
each +  and sessile +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br />) +
short-decurrent +  and sessile +
proximal +  and cauline +
tapering +
acute +  and linear-oblong +
entire +  and dentate +
lobed +  and dentate +
roughened +  and smooth +
0.9 cm9 mm <br />0.009 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
2-carpellate +
persistent +
Flowering spring–summer (Apr–Aug). +
papillate +  and smooth +
distinct +  and fused +
Sp. Pl. ed. +
flat;convex +
prominent +
exalbuminous +
Introduced +  and Illustrated +
divided +
prostrate +  and spreading +
appendaged +  and truncate +
dilated +  and swollen +
enlarged +
Acosta +, Cnicus +, Grossheimia +, Jacea +  and Leucacantha +
Centaurea benedicta +
Centaurea +
species +
tomentose +  and glabrous +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (60 cm600 mm <br />0.6 m <br />) +
tree +, vine +, shrub +  and subshrub +
15 +, 13 +, 12 +, 11 +, 10 +, 9 +  and 8 +