Maltese star-thistle

Centaurea melitensis

Annual up to 1 m high; stems branched, winged in upper portion, pubescent.

Lower leaves lanceolate, pinnatifid, lyrate, to 4–14 cm long, 1–6 cm wide, finely pubescent to scabrous; cauline leaves lanceolate, decurrent, entire to toothed, 1–7 cm long, 3–5 mm wide.

Heads solitary or in groups of 2 or 3, ovoid-globose, 8–12 mm diam.; involucral bracts lanceolate, pale green, outer bracts cobwebby, with short recurved appendages; appendages with a terminal spine and 1–3 pairs of short lateral spines on each side. Florets yellow, the outer slightly spreading; corolla glandular.

Achenes 2.5 mm, pubescent; pappus 2.5 mm.

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