[Plectocephalus americanus] American Star-thistle or American Basketflower (sen-TAR-ee-uh: a-mer-ih-KAY-na) Asteraceae:
Centaurea americana is an annual with branched stems and large lavender-pink flower heads that are a softer color in the middle. Plants grow 3 to 5 feet tall and have 4 inch wide flower heads. The phyllaries which hold the flowers look like a basket - giving plant the common name "basketflower". the plants are thorn-less and showy and used in cutting arrangements, blooms early summer. A good subject for a butterfly garden and birds love to feed on the seeds once the plants are done blooming, will self seed some but this can be prevented by cutting down the plants after they bloom if you wish. A showy, easily cultivated wildflower for full sun in well draining soils.
Native to the southern central United States and northeastern Mexico.