Knapweed; supersize mine, please... (10)
|I like to share this [giant] flower of this knapweed < Centaurus ; Centaurea / Flockenblume / knapweed >. It is not evident from this photo that this flower is huge < for knapweed >. So I will post the original of what I shot, which shows the flower alongside a tape . Meanwhile here is some info.|
When Scotland was under an imminent Viking invasion, the Scots piled the beaches with thistles and waited. During the night of the invasion, the sandal-clad Norsemen leaped onto the thistle-strewn beach and let out cries of pain and curses. Warned of their approach, the Scots drove the Norsemen back to their ships. Small wonder that the thistle became Scotland's heraldic emblem and the source of her motto, "Touch Me Who Dares" (0). Since 1687, induction into Scotland's Order of the Thistle has been a great honor.
KNAPWEEDS, CORNFLOWER et al
Centaurea is the largest genus of the eastern Mediterranean area, where most weeds originated (1).
Centaurus is the classical name of a plant fabled by Ovid to have cured a wound in the foot of Chiron, one of the Centaurs of Thessaly.
Hence the name!
Centaurea includes the cornflowers, knapweeds, and starthistles.
They are enduring weeds, possessing ristly seeds that enable them to thrive in such averse areas as abandoned city lots, highways, and swamps. Starthistles and knapweeds are among the most notorious members of this genus. Perhaps the best-known knapweed is Russian knapweed (C. repens L. ), with knoblike heads of purple flowers.
The "knap" in knapweed is derived from the Anglo Saxon word cnaep for top, knob, or button (2).
A common name for cornflower (C. cyanus ) is bachelor button, which was grown extensively in English gardens as a home remedy for inflammation of the eyes and for jaundice.
0. Haughton, C. S. 1978. Green Immigrants. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York.
1. King, L. J. 1966. Weeds of the World-Biology and Control. Interscience Pub., Inc., New York, NY.
2. Jaeger, E. C. 1947.(2nd ed). A Source-book of Biological Names and Terms. Charles C. Thomas, Pub., Springfield, IL.
See also the spiky knapweed: