Centaurea jacea L.
Family: Asteraceae
brown knapweed, brown-ray knapweed
Centaurea jacea image
Emmet J. Judziewicz  
Etymology: Centaurea: ancient Greek plant-name, poetically associated with Chiron, the Centaur, but without wholly satisfactory explanation
Plants: erect, perennial, 8"-32" tall forb
Leaves: usually either undivided or toothed; lower more than 1/3" wide; larger ones possibly with a few lobes
Flowers: head 1"-1 1/4" wide with purple disk flowers, loosely thistle-like, bracts (phyllaries) fringed with brownish "eyelashes"; inflorescence a solitary head at the ends of the branches; blooms June-Sept.
Habitat: fields, roadsides, disturbed areas
Conservation Status: Introduced - naturalized