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
© Johan Dierckx
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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.
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