any composite plant of the genus Centaurea, especially the weedy C. nigra, having rose-purple flowers set on a dark-colored, knoblike bract.
Also called hardheads, Spanish button.

1400–50; late Middle English knopwed. See knop, weed1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
knapweed (ˈnæpˌwiːd)
centaury See also hardheads any of several plants of the genus Centaurea, having purplish thistle-like flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)
[C15 knopwed; see knop, weed1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Spotted knapweed has few natural enemies and is not preferred by livestock as forage.
Spotted knapweed is a biennial or short-lived perennial forb of the composite family.
Spotted knapweed has a bitter taste, but is sometimes grazed by deer.
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