Centaurea benedicta (L.) L.

Locations ofCentaurea benedicta (L.) L. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Centaurea benedicta (L.) L.
Common Name
Blessed Thistle, Holy Thistle
Cnicus benedictus L.
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Centaurea benedicta (L.) L.
This species is commonly cultivated as a medicinal herb reputed to have cleansing properties for the liver. It was reportedly introduced early in the colonial period, based on a John Clayton specimen. However, almost all the Virginia records of this species were collected between 1944 and 1962, and most were sent to VPI by county extension agents. For whatever reason, it seems to have proliferated as a recurrent agricultural weed during that period, but has not been seen outside of cultivation recently.
Fields, and waste ground. Now rare, if still extant, throughout.
Native Status

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