Centaurea montana

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Scientific Name Centaurea montana USDA PLANTS Symbol CEMO
Common Name Mountain Cornflower, Mountain Bluet ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 36966
Family Asteraceae (Sunflower) SEINet
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Description Life zones and habitat: Up to subalpine; dry to moist soils along roadsides, disturbed areas and meadows; escaped from cultivation.
Plant: Erect, leafy perennial 10 to 28 inches tall; one to several hairy stems.
Leaves: Alternate, ovate to oblong or lanceolate, 2-3/4 to 7 inches long, margins entire or somewhat toothed; lower leaves winged-petiolate, mid and upper leaves sessile.
Inflorescence: Showy, large usually solitary heads with 35 to 60+ disc florets, the outer 10 to 20 are sterile with long (1 to 1-3/4 inches long), blue corollas that are deeply lobed; 25 to 40+ center florets with purple corollas and dark blue-purple anthers; no ray florets; overlapping, ovate to lanceolate, greenish phyllaries with ragged brown to black margins.
Bloom Period: July to September.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, Univ. of Alaska and Flora of North America.
Note: None of the literature shows the plant in the central Colorado mountains, however, the plant below was found in the wild at 9500 ft. in Summit County, likely a garden escapee.
BONAP Distribution Map

© Tom Lebsack 2021