SPOTTED KNAPWEED, Centaurea maculosa Lam. 1, portion of stem with leaves; 2, upper portion of stem with flower heads; 3, single flower head. Biennial, reproducing by seed. Stems erect or ascending, slender, 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) tall, hairy, branching. Leaves alternate, deeply divided into narrow segments, covered with short hairs, much reduced in size near top of the plant. Flower heads about 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) across, numerous, consisting only of pink to purple disk flowers; heads both terminal and in axils of upper leaves; each head surrounded by leaflike bracts with dark tips bearing a fringe of bristly hairs. Seed brownish, 1/8 inch (3 mm) long, notched on one side of base, with a short tuft of bristles on tip end. Found in pastures, fields, and roadsides, especially those with dry, gravelly, or sandy soils.