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 Lesser Knapweed
Centaurea nigra

Other Names:  Hardheads, Black Knapweed, Lesser Knapweed
Distribution:  Native perennial across the UK on grassland, road sides and cliffs. 
Habitat:  Grassland and hedgebanks in sunny sites. It tolerates poor soils and grows well in very chalky soils.
Description:  Medium height with thistle-like, dark flower heads with numerous deep pink florets at the top of the flower head.  The flowers appear between June and September.
Folklore:  It was said that the centaur Chiron from Greek mythology, used the plant to heal wounds.
Wildlife:  Source of nectar for bees and butterflies.  It is the food plant of the Lime Speck Pug Moth.  Finches are attracted to the seed heads when ripe. 

 Sowing Instructions for Seed:  Sow seed in spring in a greenhouse or cold frame. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots.  Plant the seedlings out into their final position in summer.

Our plants and seeds are of native British origin.