Centaurea iberica, Iberian knapweed, Spanish Centaury-thistle,
Hebrew: דרדר מצוי, Arabic: القنطريون الأيبيري

Scientific name:  Centaurea iberica Trevis et Sprengel
Common name:  Iberian knapweed, Spanish Centaury-thistle
Hebrew name:  דרדר מצוי
Arabic name:  القنطريون الأيبيري
Plant Family:  Compositae / Asteraceae, מורכבים

Izrael, kwiaty, Rośliny, Przyroda, Zdjęcia

Life form:  Annual
Spinescence:  Bracts
Stems:  30-180 in height, much branched, rounded mound, puberulent to loosely tomentose
Leaves:  Alternate, rosette, dissected once
Flowers:  Heads disciform, many florets, cream, purple; straw-colored spine-like bracts over 2.5 cm in length
Fruits / pods:  Cypselae white- or brown-streaked, 3–4 mm, glabrous; pappi of white bristles
Flowering Period:   April, May, June, July
Habitat:  Light soils
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:   Med - Irano-Turanian
Summer shedding:  Ephemeral

פרחים וצמחי בר בארץ ישראל


Derivation of the botanical name:
Centaurea, gets its name from the centaur, Chiron, who is said in mythology to have taught us the healing power of herbs.
iberica, of Iberia, i.e., Spain and Portugal.
  • The standard author abbreviation Trevis is used to indicate Vittore Benedetto Antonio, conte Trevisan de Saint-Léon (1818-1897), Italian botanist.
  • The standard author abbreviation Sprengel is used to indicate Curt Polycarp Joachim Sprengel (1766–1833), a German botanist and physician.
There are several kinds of thistles in the Eastern Mediterranean. In Arabic, it is called shauket ed-dardar, a general name for the thistles known as Centaureae or star-thistles.
The Hebrew word dardar, דרדר is a species of the star thistle, perhaps the Centaurea iberica. Centaurea iberica is one of the commonest weeds of the eastern Mediterranean (Centaurea iberica has pink flowers and Centaurea pallescens has yellow ones).
The word dardar דרדר occurs in Genesis 3:18 and Hosea 10:8, and the Greek tribolos, "a triple point", Matthew 7:16 and Hebrews 6:8.
Trib'ulus: from the Greek tribeles or tribolos and Latin tribulus for "three-pointed, a caltrop," the shape of which is suggested by the three-pronged fruit, and referring to the caltrop, an ancient military weapon which consisted of an iron ball with projecting spikes that could be strewn on the battlefield to impede cavalry or foot soldiers. At least one spike projected upwards while others anchored the caltrop in the ground (ref. genus Tribulus).

Bible resources:
  1. Genesis 3:17-18
    o Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
    It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
  2. Hosea 10:8
    The high places of wickedness will be destroyed— it is the sin of Israel. Thorns and thistles will grow up and cover their altars. Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!” and to the hills, “Fall on us!”
  3. Matthew 7:16
    By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
  4. Hebrews 6:8
    But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

Centaurea iberica, Iberian knapweed, Spanish Centaury-thistle, القنطريون الأيبيري, דרדר מצוי
Lower Galilee, Manof (מנוף)


Flora of Israel online, Native plants, Palestine
Lower Galilee, Manof (מנוף)