Centaurea macrocephala

Star Thistle (Giant Knapweed)

Categories: Herbaceous Perennial

This unusual but rarely planted Centaurea is a great garden flower that will add stunning color to your garden.  The flower stems are thick and stiff, bearing great globes of rich yellow thistle like blooms.  The foliage is big and coarse medium matte green.

More About Centaurea macrocephala

  • honey-bee food plant
  • good as a cut/dry

Centaurea macrocephalais such a dramatic plant that you will need to work it into your design rather carefully, the strong and dramatic appearance can overwhelm fine, small plants.  It would be a superb plant to incorporate in a rock bolder garden or mixed border.  It is excellent for cut flowers or dried.  

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3-5 ft


1-3 ft

Hardiness Zone:


Centaurea macrocephala Characteristics


  • Specimen
  • Cut Flower / or Foliage
  • Dried Flower
  • Mass Plant
  • Cottage Garden

Critter Resistance

  • Deer Resistant
  • Rabbit Resistant


  • Sun Tolerant
  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Part Sun/Part Shade
  • Does best in full sun

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium

Nature Attraction

  • Butterflies

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Spring / Early Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • All Season

Flower Color

  • Yellow
  • Gold


  • Clumping
  • Upright