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Like so many other wild plants in our latitudes, the meadow knapweed is basically edible. Because of its bitter taste, it is mainly used as a decoration. Meadow knapweed leaves are eaten in very small amounts, if at all.

The meadow knapweed: A treat not only for bees

Which parts of the meadow knapweed are edible?

The leaves, shoot tips and flowers of the meadow knapweed are edible. Leaves and shoot tips are only used as an additional spice in the kitchen because of the bitter taste.

The flowers of the meadow knapweed have no taste of their own and are therefore primarily used to decorate vegetable plates, wild herb salads and soups. They give colorful salads a very decorative look.

The flowers can be consumed fresh immediately after harvest. But they can also be dried well and used later.

When does the meadow knapweed bloom?

The flowering period of the wild plant lasts from June to November. During this time, the flowers can be harvested at any time. The leaves are not quite as bitter before flowering and should therefore only be picked before flowering.

If the bitter taste doesn't bother you, the leaves can of course also be collected later.

Meadow knapweed as cattle fodder

Meadow knapweeds are often found in meadows and pastures. They do not contain any toxins and can therefore be eaten by grazing animals without hesitation.

However, the plants are usually spurned because the taste is simply too bitter.

Meadow knapweed as a medicinal plant

An extract can be obtained from the leaves of the meadow knapweed. It was formerly used for eye diseases.

The roots were also once used for medicinal purposes. Due to the high proportion of bitter substances, the root has a diuretic and digestive effect. In addition, it was administered to strengthen the general condition.

Good bee pasture and hop substitute

In nature, the meadow knapweed is often flown to by bees and bumblebees. It is therefore considered a good bee pasture.

The leaves and shoot tips of the meadow knapweed contain a lot of bitter substances. They used to be collected from August to September and used as a substitute for hops in brewing beer.


In nature, knapweeds are often confused with cornflowers. The two types of plants look very similar. The meadow knapweed, however, bears larger flowers that are pink and purple in color, while cornflower flowers are blue in color.

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