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Common Name: Basketflower

Other Name: American Star-thistle

Species Name: Centaurea americana

Family Name: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family





Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Annual 
Distribution in the U.S. South-central, with populations found from Missouri to Louisiana in the east and to Arizona in the west
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics
    • Leaves alternating, small and narrow but not sharp like thistle
    • Little branching below and wide branching above 
    • Seed triangular with long fan of white hairs at base
    • Large, showy pink flower heads; DO NOT confuse with thistles
    • When dead, flower heads look like brown woven “baskets”
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Leaf Type: Simple
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
    • Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
    • Stipules: Absent
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: Numerous
    • Flower Color: Pink
    • Flower Timing: May-July
    • Fruit Type: Achenes



Soil Type Shallow and rocky
Habitat Grasslands and roadsides
Successional Stage Mid


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