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Bachelor button – Centaurea nigra (black) – a perennial hub




Centaurea nigra is a perennial herb that belongs to the daisy family and is a flowering plant which is also known as Lesser Knapweed, Hardheads, Common Knapweed and Black Knapweed. It is a noxious weed and is a native of Europe. These species can grow in height to a meter. The leaves are long, deep-lobed and hairy with length of up to 25 centimeters. The upper leaves are stalkless and lower leaves are stalked in this plant. The flower heads are inflorescent. They are black to brown in each hemisphere. The head has purple flowers which are small and bright and the fruit is tan and hairy. The fruit grows up to 2-3 millimeters in length and has tiny and dark pappus. The flowers bloom from July to September. The flowers are borne on spineless stem and leaves.
They grow in low to moderately fertile soils which include meadows, pastures, road verges, field borders, waste ground, scrub land and woodland edges. The bees, butterflies, flies and beetles are attracted to this plant and some feeding birds find their food in this plant. These insects help in the pollination of the seeds of the plant. The leaves are lanceolate and toothed.
This plant needs full sun and grows in hardiness zones of 5. This plant needs light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. It needs well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. This plant can grow in very alkaline soils. It requires dry or moist soil. It is used in meadows and for flower beds. The roots and seeds are diaphoretic, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary.

Growing conditions of Bachelor button–Centaurea nigra(black)

• This plant needs full sun.
• It grows in hardiness zones of 5.
• This plant needs light (sandy), medium (loamy) or heavy (clay) soils.
• It needs well-drained soil.
• The plant prefers acid, neutral or basic (alkaline) soils.
• This plant can grow in very alkaline soils.
• It requires dry or moist soil.
• Sow the seed in April in a cold frame.
• Once the seedlings emerge out, plant them outside in summer.
• Divide the plants in autumn.
• Once in three years, they should be divided to maintain.

Care for Bachelor button–Centaurea nigra (black)

• Do not overwater or underwater.
• Add ½ teaspoon of fertilizer during the growth season.
• This plant is usually attacked by pests called aphids.
• Aphids are easy to remove by simply washing the plants off with a strong spray of water using a garden hose.
• The two fungal diseases that cause problem in this plant is rust and powdery mildew.
• By proper spacing of the plant, this disease can be avoided as this will provide proper air circulation.
• Do not wet the leaves and remove the infected leaves of the plant.
• Spray a sulphur or soap fungicide to control rust.

Images of this plant.





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