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American Basketflower

Plectocephalus americanus

Other common name(s):

Synonym/s: American Basket-flower, American Star-thistle, Basket-flower, Star Thistle, Shaving Brush, Basket Flower

Family:

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Central Great Plains, Chihuahuan Deserts, Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, High Plains, Southern Texas Plains, Southwestern Tablelands, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Broken Red Plains, Limestone Plains
Chihuahuan Basins and Playas, Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands, Chihuahuan Montane Woodlands, Low Mountains and Bajadas, Stockton Plateau
Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain, Western Cross Timbers
San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland, Llano Uplift, Semiarid Edwards Plateau
Lower Rio Grande Alluvial Floodplain, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Mid-Coast Barrier Islands and Coastal Marshes, Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Southern Subhumid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Arid Llano Estacado, Llano Estacado, Shinnery Sands
Northern Nueces Alluvial Plains, Semiarid Edwards Bajada, Texas-Tamaulipan Thornscrub
Canadian/Cimarron Breaks, Caprock Canyons Badlands Breaks
Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

1.5
to
5
ft.

Spread

.5
to
1
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Annual

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Dry

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland, Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Pink

Bloom Season

Summer

Seasonal Interest

Nectar

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds, Bees

Maintenance

In the Spring: thin and transplant. This is a showy, easily cultivated wildflower. Propagation: Seed.

Comments

Blooms February-August. Has a sweet, honey fragrance and makes brilliant cut flowers. The plant resembles thistles but lacks their prickly characteristics. Attracts butterflies; birds feast on the relatively large seeds.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Centaurea americana

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=780479#null. 3) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CEAM2. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=4066&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 5) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Plectocephalus+americanus&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=780479#null