In the UK Rhaponticum is typically represented in gardens by R. centaureoides, a beautiful silvery-leaved perennial, with large pink thistle-like flowers. There is some confusion over the name and it may be sold under the genera of Stemmacantha, Centaurea or Leuzea.

The dense flowerheads with many tiny flowers produce nectar and pollen that is used by bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies and moths, hoverflies, beetles and a whole lot more. At the end of flowering, the seeds may be taken by goldfinches, linnets and other seed-eating birds. Unlike many relatives such as knapweeds, it seems able to defend itself against herbivorous insect attack as it produces an insect moulting hormone that disrupts the development of would-be herbivores.

Plants to be propagated in the near future, register your interest To Be Propagated

You are now leaving Beth Chatto's Plants & Gardens to access the Beth Chatto Education Trust website.

Stay on current site
Continue to Education Trust site