Sep. 11, 2018

shortfringe knapweed, Centaurea nigrescens

Shortfringe knapweed is one of many very similar species. Some species, for instance bachelor's buttons or cornflower, are easy to distinguish. Ones similar to shortfringe are more difficult. So much so that one of the rejected names someone tried out was Centaurea dubia. Variations in bracts below the flowers are one key. The shape and fringes on these bracts are strange little critters, sometimes more like arachnids than plant parts. This one is distinguished by the triangular shape of the body of the spidery appendage. Shortfringe knapweed has been reported from CA, CT, DE, FL, ID, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY, BC, NS, ON, and QC. Lenawee Co MI, 9/15/11.