Basket flower (Centaurea americana) profile

Written by Maggie

May 07 2021

Basket flower (Centaurea americana) profile

Basket flowers are annual or biennial herbs in the composite family, up to 70 cm tall, erect, branched, with grayish stems and branches, basal leaves arranged in corymbs or panicles at the top.Involucral bracts elliptic, discored, blue, white, red, or purple, achenes elliptic, fruiting from spring to summer.

Basket flower picture

Basket flower

Basket flower info

Botanical Name Centaurea americana
Common Name Basket flower, basket-flower, American basketflower, American starthistle
Plant Type Annual, herb
Mature Size 2-4 ft. tall, 2-3 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Flower Color Lavender, pink, purple, white
Hardiness Zones 3 - 9, USA
Native Area North America

Morphological characteristics of basket flower


Basket flowers are annual or biennial, 30 -- 70 cm or more tall, erect, branched from middle, rarely unbranched.All stem branches gray white, by thin spider filamentous curly hair.Basal leaf and lower stem leaves long elliptical oblanceolate or lanceolate, not divided, edge no serrate or entire margin sparsely serrate to split the big feather, lateral lobes 1-3, long elliptic-lanceolate, linear lanceolate or linear, margin entire without jagged, lobes larger, long elliptical oblanceolate or lanceolate, small serrated edge.The central stem


Basket flower leaves linear, broadly linear, or linear-lanceolate, 4 -- 9 cm long, 4 -- 8 mm wide, apically acuminate, basally cuneate, without petiole margin entire without serrate, upper stem and leaves homomorpous to middle, but tapering.All the two sides of the stem and leaves heterochromatic or nearly heterochromatic, green or grayish green above, by sparse spider silk hair or depilate, below grayish white, by thin villi.


Basket flowers are heads and many or a few are arranged in corymbs or panicles at the top of the stems and branches.Involucral bracts elliptic, 1-1.5 cm in diam., sparsely silky.Involucral bracts about 7 layers, all involucral bracts elliptic from outside to inside, long elliptic, outer and middle layers including apical appendage 3 -- 6 mm long, 2 -- 4 mm wide, inner layers including apical appendage 1 -- 11 cm long, 3 -- 4 mm wide.All bracts have pale brown or white appendages apically, larger middle and outer appendages, larger inner appendages, all appendages extending short along the bracts, margin fimbriate serrate.MARGIN LARGER, LONGER THAN CENTRAL DISC, BLUE, WHITE, RED, OR PURPLE, Eaves 5-8 lobed, DISC Pale blue or red.


Basket flower achenes elliptic, 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, pinstriped, thinly white pubescent.Crest white or light earth-red, 2 rows, outer row multilayer, gradually lengthened to the inner layer, up to 3 mm, inner row 1 layer, very short;All crown hairs are rigid and hairy.

Basket Flower Ecological Habits

Basket flowers are adaptable, like full sun and can't tolerate dampness. They must be planted in a sunny, well-drained area or they will often die from dampness.More cold, like cold, avoid heat.Basket flowers like fertile, loose, well drained sandy soils.

Basket flower

How to grow and care for basket flowers


For satisfactory results, basket flora must be grown in full sun. They can, however, additionally tolerate a phase color position.


Basket vegetation are tolerant of a vast vary of soil types, which includes sandy, loamy, and clay, they simply want it to be well-draining. They don't seem to be too fussy about pH stages either, even though barely acidic to impartial degrees appear to be favored the most.


If you stay in a dry region, planting basket plants should be a properly choice. Once they're established, they're drought-tolerant and cope properly in dry conditions.

If they nonetheless get hold of enough moisture at some stage in the iciness and spring, however, their boom need to be greater impressive.

Temperature and humidity

With their drought-tolerance, it is no shock that basket flora do nicely in Mediterranean-style climates. They can also take care of temperate and subtropic weather.


To see the most surprising blooms and prolific growth, the addition of compost or natural fertilizer throughout the spring is recommended.

Basket flower varieties

There are a couple of basket flower cultivars that are reachable commercially.

'Aloha Blanca' - Basket vegetation commonly characteristic pink-purple petals, however this kind has uncommon white flowers.
'Aloha Rosa' - Features blooms with a smoky red shade. The internal petals occasionally have captivating black tips.
If you choose to see the most amazing boom in phrases of branches and blooms, it is really worth pinching off creating tips, and deadheading spent flowers.

How to grow basket flowers from seed

As annuals, basket vegetation want to be grown from seed. Luckily, this is convenient to do, and they do not require a stratification period.

Collection of the seeds have to take place as soon as they're entirely fashioned and can without difficulty be removed. They can both be sown indoors a couple of months earlier than transferring them to their out of doors location, or sown at once outdoors. Just make positive it is completed after the final frosts.

Basket flower seeds should not be sown too deeply, and the soil ought to be saved moist however no longer saturated.

The seeds can take somewhere from one to three weeks to germinate.

Basket flower garden use

Basket flowers have tall, straight plants and long pedicels that make them suitable for cut flowers and for flower-diameter materials. The short plant is only 20 cm high, can be used for flower beds, grass edge or potted flower ornamental. Large areas of natural vegetation. High - type varieties can be arranged in accordance with other grass flower beds and flower borders.It can also be planted along the road or on the lawn, with elegant plants and beautiful flowers. It is very natural.Can also do cut flowers.

Basket flower