Native to the Balkans this is a tough plant for dry, poor soils in full sun.
It's worth having for the rich burgundy flowers, a colour that is often difficult to find.
Resembling a fluffy thistle, the flowers burst from plump, bronze, scaly buds atop silvery, velvety leaves. The stems are branched and by deadheading, more flowers will continually appear along the stems.
It flowers from early to late summer and is a self-service restaurant for a wide variety of insects. In time, clumps will form up to a metre wide which can easily be divided to make more of this eye catching and unusual plant.
The centaurea genus is named after Chiron the centaur, a noted herbalist who used the leaves to heal a wound on his hoof from one of Achilles arrows.
Dry, poor, well drained