geff.2007's picture

Alpine Knapweed Seedhead

Observed: 4th June 2011 By: geff.2007geff.2007’s reputation in Plantsgeff.2007’s reputation in Plantsgeff.2007’s reputation in Plantsgeff.2007’s reputation in Plantsgeff.2007’s reputation in Plants
Knapweed, Alpine (Fruit)
Species interactions

No interactions present.


martinjohnbishop's picture

Why not Centaurea scabiosa?

According to the Flora Helvetica there are 21 species of Centaurea in Switzerland. I am not convinced you can identify the species from this one photograph.

geff.2007's picture

Knapweed Seedhead

As I stated "It might be this". Unfortunately my system does not record where or how I came to this identification. Certainly I don't have access to such learned tomes as you quote which is why I find iSpot so useful. I do like to try and identify items before adding them and this one struck me as being somewhat different. Maybe it is not possible to make an exact i.d. just from a seed head.

martinjohnbishop's picture

The appendages are like C. scabiosa

at 1-2 mm across and too delicate for C. alpestris.

I do not have access to Flora Helvetica either, just googled it. There are more then 200 in Flora Europaea which I do have. I find them a difficult group for which many characters are needed. It says (for the involucre which is all we can see):

C. scabiosa Involucre 18-25mm ovoid globose; bracts 3-4mm wide, ovate, numerous, glabrous or arachnoid; appendages 1-2mm x 1-2mm , not covering the bracts, triangular-ovate, brown or black, decurrent with light brown fimbriae.

C. alpestris Involucre 20-40mm ovoid-globose;
appendages c5mm, ovate, completely covering the bracts, broadly decurrent, the fimbriae dark brown.

geff.2007's picture


Thanks for that MJB - maybe the light brown fimbriae are the answer making it scabiosa. Keep up the good work! Anyone else going to enter the debate?