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a genus of plants of the family Dipsacaceae. The plants are perennial, annual, or, most often, biennial herbs with opposite pinnatipartite or, less frequently, entire leaves. The tiny flowers (the marginal flowers are larger) are gathered in large, flattened hemispherical calathide heads or anthodia with multifoliate spathes. The outer calyx is tubular, and the interior, patelliform one has denticles. The tubular, irregular corolla has four blades. There are four stamens; the fruit is a seed with a membrane margin.
There are approximately 50 species ofKnautia in the temperate belt of Europe, western Asia, and North Africa, but they are found mainly in the Mediterranean region. There are six species in the USSR, primarily in the Caucasus. Field scabious (K. arvensis), a perennial honey-bearing plant with lilac-colored flowers, grows in waterless valley meadows, at forest edges, in shrub thickets, and sometimes in pasture lands and as a weed among agricultural crops. K. magnifica and other species are grown as ornamentals.
T. V. EGOROVA [13-595-]