- Centaurea montana
Mountain bluet (Centaurea montana) is a popular ornamental plant; its ability to self-seed and large blue flowers make it the top choice among many gardeners. Unfortunately, once planted, this species can easily spread into natural ecosystems.
Mountain bluet can be found in isolated patches of the central interior, the northwest corner, and the Lower Mainland of BC. In these areas, the plant will colonize in disturbed open areas, forests, and along road sides.
Mountain bluet can range from 30-80cm in height with fine hairs covering the steam and lance shaped leaves. Bright blue knapweed-like flowers bloom between April and June. Each flower contains female and male organs allowing this species to self-pollinate.
Its ability to self-seed makes this species hard to manage; along with self-seeding it is also able to spread using rhizomes. This fast growing, long-living plant has also adapted to grow in soil conditions ranging from dry-moist. For these reasons, preventing mountain bluet from further spread throughout BC is very important. When shopping for ornamental species please remember to be ‘PlantWise’ and pick non-invasive species as alternatives.