Scientific name Centaurea melitensis
Higher classification Knapweeds
|Similar Knapweeds, Daisy family, Centaurea calcitrapa, Centaurea solstitialis, Centaurea aspera|
Centaurea melitensis (called Maltese star-thistle in Europe, tocalote or tocolote in western North America) is an annual plant of the Asteraceae, 1- 11 dm high, with resin-dotted leaves and spine-tipped phyllaries. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and Africa. It was introduced to North America in the 18th Century; the first documented occurrence in California is in the adobe of a building constructed in San Fernando in 1797. It is also naturalized on a number of Pacific islands.