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Any idea what this is?

We moved to a new house in the scottish borders in late summer last year and had a bed filled with these slightly alien looking flowers growing en masse like weeds. The leaves on the plant all became coated with a powdery mildew towards the end of the summer. 

Does anyone have any ideas what they are?

I'm a bit of a gardening newbie so my knowledge of plants is still growing so any help is appreciated.





  • DispondedDisponded Posts: 43

    I think it's Centaurea montana. It think it's a type of cornflower.

    I have lots of it growing in my garden too. It's nice till it gets too high and then falls over

  • MarygoldMarygold Posts: 327

    Centuarea, philmcc17. We had loads of them in our garden when I was a child. They grew everywhere so I thought they were a weed.! Saw some for sale in a GC last week. I think they're good for bees.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,569

    A fair description Dispondedimage

  • MarygoldMarygold Posts: 327

    Another name for them is Knapweed.

  • Perfect - Thank you all!!!

  • mushermusher Posts: 389
    Its definetly a corn flower. A naitive flowering plant
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,569

    Knapweed is usually applied to Centaurea nigra, (Lesser Knapweed), or Centaurea scabiosa, (Greater Knapweed)

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,170

    Centaurea montana. if they get mildew, shear the lot off and water well and they will regrow.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,569

    I don't think Centaurea montana is native to the UK. The annual cornflower is Centaurea cyanusimage

    This is as Disponded IDd. a perennial from the mountains  of southern Europe

  • It's a perennial cornflower but I find it falls foul of powdery mildew image It's native to the mountain meadows of continental Europe ...... our cornflowers are annuals image

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