Knapweed or Black Knapweed

Centaurea nigra

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Knapweed or Black Knapweed


Common Knapweed is a thistle-like plant that can be found on all kinds of grasslands from roadside verges to woodland rides, cliff tops to lawns. It is in bloom from June to September and is a huge favourite of all kinds of butterflies including Common Blues, Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns, and is sometimes covered in these species.

How to identify

Common Knapweed has flower heads with bright pink florets (tiny flowers), surrounded by a crown of long, ragged, pink bracts (leaf-like structures). It has deeply divided, oblong leaves.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Like many of our native plants, Common Knapweed is an excellent source of nectar and pollen for all kinds of insects including bees, wasps and butterflies. To encourage wildlife into your garden, try planting native flower species in your borders to provide a 'nectar-cafe'. To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Knapweed or Black Knapweed
Latin name
Centaurea nigra
Height: up to 1m
Conservation status