The flowers of C. dealbata resemble those of C. americana in color and form; the composite inflorescence has rosy outer florets shading to cream in the center of the 2 in. disk, surrounded by scaly bracts on a slender peduncle 18 to 24 in. long. The blooming period is in early summer.
C. dealbata is most noteworthy for its leaves. Like those of C. moschata they are divided, but unlike the latter the division is quite regular. The undersides of the leaves are covered in silver hairs.
C. dealbata is widely cultivated as an ornamental, though it is not as well known as some other members of the genus. It is widely adaptable and drought-tolerant. The flowers attract butterflies and bees. It self-seeds to a degree.
The variety 'Steenbergii' is recognized, and several cultivars are available.
Sources tracking weed species generally classify it as a "casual alien"; that is, it escapes from gardens but is not invasive. In some areas of the United States it has naturalized.
- Saylor, Jesse. "Centaurea dealbata". Michigan State University. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "Global Compendium of Weeds: Centaurea dealbata". Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "PLANTS Profile for Centaurea dealbata". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "Heritage Perennial Profile: Centaurea dealbata". perennials.com. Retrieved 2008-06-07.