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This species is accepted, and its native range is Macaronesia, Medit.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FZ]

Compositae, G. V. Pope. Flora Zambesiaca 6:1. 1992

Morphology General Habit
An erect annual herb up to c. 1 m. tall.
Morphology Stem
Stems slender, stiffly branched, angular, narrowly winged, scabridulous.
Morphology Leaves
Cauline leaves sessile, up to c. 4 x 0.5 cm., oblong-lanceolate, entire, sometimes sinuate or dentate, decurrenton the stem as narrow wings, hispid-pubescent or young growth ± sericeous-araneose at first. Basal leaves up to c. 10 cm. long, narrowly obovate to lyrate-pinnatilobed; lobes few, remote, narrow, entire or dentate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Capitulum
Capitula solitary and terminal on short lateral branches; involucres c. 12 mm. long, urceolate, araneose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Phyllaries
Phyllaries imbricate, increasing in length towards the inside, coriaceous, glabrous, appendaged; appendages of outer phyllaries brownish or purple, each with a deflexed apical spine 5–7 mm. long and 2–3 pairs of pinnately arranged short lateral spines; appendages of innermost phyllaries with the terminal spine reduced and the lateral spines absent, often expanded and chartaceous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Receptacle
Receptacle densely setose; the setae c. 7 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Florets yellow, glandular otherwise glabrous; marginal florets neuter; disk-florets hermaphrodite, 8–12 mm. long, narrowly infundibuliform, limb 4.5–5.5 mm. long, lobes c. 1.5 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Achenes pale brownish-purple, c. 3 mm. long, oblong, somewhat laterally compressed, sparsely finely puberulent, attachment-scar lateral and oblique-concave; pappus many-seriate of persistent unequal paleaceous setae up to c. 3 mm. long.

[FTEA]

Compositae, H. Beentje, C. Jeffrey & D.J.N. Hind. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

Morphology General Habit
Erect herb to 1 m high; stems branched, narrowly winged.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves sessile, elliptic, 4–15 cm long, 0.3–1 cm wide, margins entire or sometimes pinnatilobed in lowermost leaves, hispid-pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Capitulum
Capitula solitary and terminal on short lateral branches; involucre 10–17 mm long; phyllaries ovate, 12 mm long, with spiny terminal appendages; receptacle with setae to 7 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Corolla yellow, the marginal florets neuter; inner florets 8–12 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Achenes pale brown, 2.5–3 mm long, glabrous or puberulous; pappus of unequal setae, the inner to 3 mm long, the outer narrow and scale-like, 0.5–1.5 mm long.
Habitat
Wheat- or maize-fields, pastures, roadsides; 1800–2200 m
Distribution
K3 K4 a native of the W Mediterranean, but now a widespread weed

Native to:

Algeria, Azores, Baleares, Canary Is., Cape Verde, Corse, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Kriti, Libya, Madeira, Morocco, Portugal, Sardegna, Selvagens, Sicilia, Spain, Tunisia, Yugoslavia

Introduced into:

Alabama, Arizona, Belgium, Bolivia, British Columbia, California, Cape Provinces, East Aegean Is., Ecuador, Ethiopia, Free State, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, India, Ireland, Juan Fernández Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Massachusetts, Mexico Northwest, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Caledonia, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, Norfolk Is., Northern Provinces, Norway, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Peru, Poland, Queensland, South Australia, Switzerland, Tasmania, Texas, Uruguay, Utah, Victoria, Washington, Western Australia, Wisconsin, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Centaurea melitensis L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Mar 1, 1837 Tenore, M. [s.n.], Italy K000772991

First published in Sp. Pl.: 917 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Literature

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Agnew, A.D.Q. & Agnew, S., Upland Kenya Wild Flowers, ed. 2: 228 (1994).
  • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bulletin 22: 136 (1968).
  • G.V. Pope in Flora Zambesiaca 6: 55 (1992).
  • L., Sp. Pl.: 917 (1753).
  • Philipson in Journal of Botany 77: 231 (1939).

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0