Centaurea montana

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Centaurea montana L.


Life form: perennial
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun - Exposure: half shade   3

Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam - Soil: sandy clay

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: decidious

Shape: ovate

Division: simple

Shape: many-stellate
Fruit: achene

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Inflorescence: solitary

Petals: single
Habit: erect

Growth form: mat-forming



Centaurea montana is a perennial.


Centaurea montana was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.


Centaurea montana is a species in the genus Centaurea which contains approximately 864 to 1486 species and belongs to the family of the Asteraceae (Aster Family). The type species of the genus is Centaurea paniculata.


Centaurea montana - leaves
Centaurea montana - flowers


The perennials have a mat-forming habit and reach heights of 30 to 70 centimetres. The plants reach a width of 0.6 to 1 metres.


Centaurea montana is deciduous. The dark-green, simple leaves are alternate. They are ovate and sessile with entire margins and pinnate venation. The surface of the leaves is pilose.

Flowers and Fruits

Centaurea montana produces solitary erect, ice-blue many-stellate flowers from June to August.

The perennials carry brown achenes.

Root System


Centaurea montana is native to to the mountain regions of the Iberian Peninsula, France, the Apennine Peninsula, Central Europe, eastern Central Europe, Slovenia and Croatia, and is naturalized in Finland .


The perennials prefer a sunny to half-shady situation on moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy or sandy clay soil with a pH between 6,5 and 7,5. They tolerate temperatures down to -40°C (USDA zone 3).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • open areas
  • woodland borders (soil usually rich in humus)

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: drought


The recommended planting distance is 40 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 3 to 10. Suited for cottage gardens, rockeries, rooftop gardens and for beds and borders, as well as suited as cut flowers and as bee pasture.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants need little to no maintenance if grown under suitable conditions.

  • Cut back faded flowering shoots.


  • Sowing
  • Cuttings
  • Division


Pests and Diseases

Cankers indicate an infection with fireblight. Generously remove affected parts and destroy them.

A powdery white coat on the plants indicates an infection with powdery mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

White tufts or white covering on the lower surface of the leaves indicates an infection with downy mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.


  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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