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Centaurea idaea

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 3 March 2011 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Series: "Wild flowers of Crete"

Centaurea idaea is a Cretan endemic growing from sea level to the highest peaks in stony locations and phrygana. It is a biennial plant with many winged stems and downy leaves arranged in a rosette, the lower ones deeply divided and the upper ones entire. The flower head is hairy with yellow florets, and the hypanth has bracts that are yellowish and spiny, the largest spine up to 3 cm in length. The flowering period extends from May to October. The specimen in the image as not opened yet: only the spiny bracts can be seen - the yellow flower is still hidden in the bud.

According to wikipedia Centaurea idaea called katsoula (κατσούλα), tsita (τσίτα) or aspragatha (ασπραγκάθα), has its leaves eaten boiled by the locals - but I did not try.

Image: Saktouria (Crete) - 09/04/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/250 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

wonderful ! flower and light, excellent capture

3 Mar 2011 6:19am

@Veronique: Thank you very much, Veronique.

Marilla from Turku, Finland

Beautiful! The thorns look really sharp.

3 Mar 2011 9:12am

@Marilla: Thanks, Marilla. The thorns not only look sharp - they are - as I experienced many times ....

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Sharpest picture I've seen today!

3 Mar 2011 2:37pm

@Curly: - LOL - Thanks for this humorous comment, Curly !

Christine from Duns, United Kingdom

Wow, very sharp looks amazing

3 Mar 2011 5:08pm

@Christine: Don't try eating them, Christine ;-) Thanks for the comment !

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

What interesting structures. Might they be defensive?

3 Mar 2011 6:17pm

@Julie Brown: I assume these are defensive structures like all thorns etc on plants are. Who likes to eat such sharp-pointed leaves? Every plant has its ows "strategy" (or better: addaptation) to survive. It is realy interesting to try to understand them. Thanks for your comment, Julie. Warm greetz !

MEC from Setúbal, Portugal

Gorgeous image, excellent framework and definition.

3 Mar 2011 10:52pm

@MEC: Thank you very much for your visit and comment, MEC.

Canon EOS 400D
1/250 second
ISO 200
150 mm