A tough-stemmed plant of the daisy family that typically has purple thistlelike flower heads, occurring typically in grassland and on roadsides.
- Genus Centaurea, family Compositae: several species, including the widespread black knapweed (C. nigra) (also called hardheads).
- The oil from the seeds of cotton thistles was extracted for fuel and knapweed, centaurea scabiosa, was believed to promote healing of bruises and wounds.
- Currently, most producers apply chemicals on rangeland in spring or summer, when knapweed begins to flower, but research is showing that fall application may be preferable.
- Spotted knapweed is not killed by fire, but sagebrush is.
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