Knapweed - Star Thistle - Bachelor's Button (Centaurea spp.)Knapweed - Star Thistle - Bachelor's Button (Centaurea spp.)
Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake From Art and Photo Journals and Galleries Directory

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Knapweed - Star Thistle - Bachelor's Button (Centaurea spp.)
Table of Contents

Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 01
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 01) The knapweed, a member of the Composite or Aster family, is a European native that escaped from cultivation.  The leaves of this species are lanceolate (shaped like a lance) and alternate on the stem.  The blooms develop on the head of the scale-like bracts in the same manner as do the thistles, which led to the name "star-thistle".
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 02
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 02) This ten times normal size photo of the knapweed clearly shows the bloom atop its scale-like bract.  The knapweed bloom is made up of numerous tiny tubular flowers, the outermost of which are more distinguishable as individual "five-petaled" flowers.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 03
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 03) This is an approximately seven times normal size enlargement of the top view of the knapweed bloom showing its many individual flowers.  In the following two photos, we will zoom-in on some of these flowers for a closer look.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 03a
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 03a) In this more than twenty times enlarged photo of the knapweed we can see more of the structure of the white-topped tubular flowers.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 03b
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 03b) This is a more than twenty times enlarged view of the unfolding center of the knapweed bloom and some of the individual flowers.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 04
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 04) Even a common wildflower like the knapweed has been blessed with such magnificently detailed beauty that it is quite easy to understand why English maidens would wear these "bachelor's buttons" as a sign of their eligibility for marriage.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 05
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 05) The literature says that knapweed bloom from June through August, but we have seen them blooming well into September.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 06
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 06) Although the bloom heads of the knapweed resemble the thistle, most species of this wildflower have no spines.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 07
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 07) In this photo we can see the bulbous bases of many of the individual flowers of the knapweed bloom.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 08
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 08) It's a little after 6:30 in the morning, and I'm sitting here in front of the computer contemplating how beautifully God has created everything, of which this knapweed represents only an extremely small part.  Then, all of a sudden my peace and meditation is shattered by hunters along the Hudson River.  It sounds as though a war has broken out, but it is only the reverberation of the hunters' depraved indifference to the pain of another of God's magnificent creations.  It is the sadistic sound that comes from taking pleasure in causing suffering and death.  Only a spiritually, morally, and ethically deficient person would deliberately take a life rather than preserve it.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 09
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 09) Knapweed grow to heights of one to three feet and can be found in fields, along roadsides, and most other open areas.   We have several plants growing up through the rip-rap along our shoreline.   Knapweed have spread across most of the United States.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 09a
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 09a) This is a close up view of one of the knapweed's scale-like bracts before the flowers spring forth from the top.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 10
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 10) This is another of the close-up photos that show the bulbous bases of the numerous individual flowers that make up the knapweed's composite bloom.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 10a
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 10a) This is an approximately thirty times enlargement of a few of the lower perimeter flowers of the knapweed composite bloom.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 11
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 11) Like a star-burst at a 4th of July fireworks display, the knapweed sends forth its flowers in all directions, hopefully to receive the same "oohs and aahs" over its beauty.  The more we appreciate the little things in life and work to preserve them, the more we will learn to appreciate all life and become the true peacemakers who will preserve it.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 12
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 12)  In this photo, we're looking down at the top of a knapweed flower with its fully opened ray flowers, and nearly fully opened disk flowers.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 12a
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 12a)  In this bee's eye view of a knapweed flower, we can see that the disk flowers open from the outside toward the center of the disk.  We also have a close up look at some of the ray flowers.  We are always fascinated by the amount of detail that God puts into His creations.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 13
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 13)  We took this photo of a knapweed flower early in the morning while it was still covered with dew.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 13a
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 13a)  In this close up photo, we can see the tiny dewdrops coating the knapweed ray flowers.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 14
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 14)  This is a knapweed bloom covered with early morning dewdrops.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 14a
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 14a)  This is a close up look at some of the 5-petaled knapweed ray flowers covered in dewdrops.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 15
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 15)  This is another look at a dewdrop covered knapweed bloom.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 16
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 16)  This is a top view of a recently opened knapweed bloom that clearly show the individual ray flowers surrounding the central cluster of disc flowers.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 16a
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 16a)  This is a close up view of the disc and ray flowers of the knapweed.  Note that the central disc flowers are not yet opened.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 17
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 17)  This is another look at a knapweed bloom.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 17a
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 17a)  In this bee's eye view, we can see more of the details of the disc and ray flowers of the knapweed.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 18
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 18)  The stem leaves of the knapweed grow alternately along the stems and are lance-shaped.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 19
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 19)  This is a closer look at some of the stem leaves of the knapweed.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 20
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 20)  This is another look at the stem leaves of the knapweed (looking down the stem).
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 20a
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 20a)  This is a closer look at the newly developing knapweed branch that is growing from the leaf axil with it leaves and terminal flowering bract.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 21
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 21)  In this photo, we can clearly see the stem branch of the knapweed growing from a mature leaf axil.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 22
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 22)  A knapweed plant viewed from above.
Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 23
(Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) - 23)  David Emmerson took this photo early in the morning of 28 Jun 2009 at a meadow in Colchester, Essex, UK.  Our thanks to David for sending us the photo.

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