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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: 331

    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 Posts: 27,350

    A fair description Dispondedimage

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • MarygoldMarygold Posts: 331

    Another name for them is Knapweed.

  • Perfect - Thank you all!!!

  • mushermusher Posts: 389
    Its definetly a corn flower. A naitive flowering plant
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,350

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

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,431

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

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,350

    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

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • 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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