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What is this Yellow Thistle Like Bloom?

Ask the Expert: Yellow Dandelion-like Flower – can you identify
There is a perennial in our garden (in a house we bought last fall) that recently bloomed, but I cannot identify it!  I can’t find it any garden books I have, and none of my flower-loving friends can identify it.  I saw (what appeared to be) the same plant (although it was not as tall) in someone else’s yard recently, but their’s has a purple flower.  The attached photos show the flower and entire plant, albeit they just started to bloom (early to mid-June).

Thank you for your help!! It\’s been a mystery… Jen

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

This past weekend, I was at the Missouri Botanical Garden and saw several of these blooming plants. What you have is Centaurea macrocephala commonly known as the Armenian basket flower. It is hardy in zone 3 thru 8. Blooms June thru July and is perennial. This thistle like yellow flower is sometimes called  globe centaurea or yellow hardhat and can be used as a dried flower.  It is low maintenance full-sun plant that requires minimum watering.

Centaurea (Hardheads, Knapweed) are in the Asteraceae family and consist of 450 species of annuals, biennuals, perennials and subsrubs. So you many see many different, but similar looking plants in your area including the purple one in your neighbor’s yard.


  1. Jennifer Etnyre says:

    Thank you so much! After more than a handful of people told me it was a thistle/weed, I was ready to pull it out!

    Glad I found your website…

    Thanks again,

    – Jen

  2. Please, I;d like to know this pricky , yelow thistle plant if goes to the family of medicinal thistles
    I let two of them to grow in my yard because I liked the blooms in vivid yellow color.I don;t know how I can attach a picture in this message but I’ll try to send it to my facebook.
    Anywy I really thank you for yr time

  3. Eleni,
    In the past, the Armenian Basket Flower has been used in folk medicine, but it is now just used in wildflower beds.

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