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Any of various weedy thistlelike plants in the composite family having flowers grouped in a head with a spiny involucre, especially several species of the genus Centaurea and the Eurasian species Acroptilon repens.

[Middle English knopwed : knop, knob; see knop + wed, weed; see weed1.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Plants) any of several plants of the genus Centaurea, having purplish thistle-like flowers: family Asteraceae (composites). See also centaury2, hardheads
[C15 knopwed; see knop, weed1]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



any composite plant of the genus Centaurea, esp. the weedy C. nigra, having rose-purple flowers set on a dark-colored, knoblike bract.
[1400–50; late Middle English knopwed=knoppe a small rounded protuberance + weed1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.knapweed - any of various plants of the genus Centaurea having purple thistlelike flowersknapweed - any of various plants of the genus Centaurea having purple thistlelike flowers
slender knapweed - a variety of knapweed
Jersey knapweed - a variety of knapweed
centaury - any plant of the genus Centaurea
black knapweed, Centaurea nigra, hardheads, lesser knapweed - a weedy perennial with tough wiry stems and purple flowers; native to Europe but widely naturalized
Centaurea scabiosa, great knapweed, greater knapweed - tall European perennial having purple flower heads
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Walking at a steady pace through a thick vegetation of caper plants, purple knapweeds and yellow cytisus, the singletrack dragon path steepened, snaking through loose rocks and boulders as thick fog closed in.
These include cowslips, knapweeds, meadow buttercups, cranesbills and orchids.
Late-flowering, nectarrich plants include dahlia, fuchsia (single varieties), Michaelmas daisies, marigolds, lavender and knapweeds. Ivy is a good autumn source of nectar for a range of species including honey bees, ivy bees and hoverflies, and is the larval food plant of the holly blue butterfly.
A biological control program for diffuse (Centaurea diffusa Lamarck) and spotted knapweeds was initiated in the 1960s, and 13 insect species were released and established in the United States and Canada to control these invaders (Story 2002).
Hemp agrimony that is flowering now in damp ditches, the ox-eye daisy that lights up motorway embankments in late spring, the butterbur that produces strange spikes of late winter flowers before the huge leaves appear in grass verges in spring and summer, the colourful knapweeds and cornflowers that light up meadows in summer - the list is endless and startling in its diversity.
Knapweeds, sunflowers and buddleia are among plants that are valuable to wildlife.
Many species of plants are valuable to wildlife: Foxtail, millet and ornamental grass are liked by seed-eating birds such as house sparrows, knapweeds are attractive to bees, butterflies, moths and hoverflies and sunflowers are loved by bees and butterflies, and birds feed on the seed
Weed Feeders--such as the weevils Larinus minutus on knapweeds and Eustenopus villosus on yellow starthistle.
Larinus minutus Gyllenhal (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a univoltine weevil that feeds on the seeds of spotted and diffuse knapweeds Centaurea stoebe ssp.
I also cut chive flowers for the house and they look good in a jug with ladies mantle, slender irises, knapweeds and sweet rocket.
For dandelions, spotted knapweeds, and other pesky weeds, this can only mean more troubled times ahead.
If you have this bee nesting in your garden you can help it to thrive by allowing clovers, vetches and knapweeds to flower in the summer.