Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asterales - Family: Asteraceae
One of the many members of the Daisy family to occur in the Mediterranean region, but different in that it is very short, often appearing to almost hug the ground. The leaves are rough-looking and hairy, and their shape is reminiscent of dandelion leaves.
The flowers of Centaurea pullata are a pretty pink or mauve, but some white ones occasionally occur, too. The outer florettes of the flower are much longer than the inner ones which are much paler (in the pink/mauve form) giving the flower a 'tiered' effect which is most attractive.
It grows on stony ground and is only found in the Iberian Peninsula and Northwest Africa, although it is naturalised in some parts of southern France. It flowers from April until July and still found after the majority of wildflowers have completely died back in the early summer heat.
The specimen above was photographed in the Algarve region of Portugal in May.
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