Greater Knapweed: butterfly heaven



This is a favourite flower of mine because it is also such a favourite with insects. When you come across a patch of greater knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa) it is always time to slow down and look at each one to see what lies in store feeding in that lovely flower head. It is a real magnet for butterflies, especially the marbled white, but also for skippers including the Lulworth skipper. Bumblebees adore it as well.
Knapweeds are members of the daisy family and closely related to thistles. The greater knapweed is a common species in the south of England, especially in Dorset, on calcareous soils where it can be found on grassland, on downland, in scrubby areas and in hedgerows .
 
Flowering from June through to August you can find it on the cliff tops of the Dorset coast, along the Purbeck Ridge and on the downlands in the mid and north of the county.
Greater Knapweed: butterfly heaven

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