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Sweet Sultan (Amberboa moschata (L.) DC.)

Also known as sweetsultan; also classified as Centaurea moschata L..

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An annual or biennial herb native to Turkey, the South Caucasus, to NW Iran, grown as a garden plant and occasionally escaping and establishing sustaining populations.

Range - Expand

Introduced or Not Present

This map is based on our research. We have checked its accuracy to Level 3 ecoregions. Although this plant occurs somewhere in each of these regions, it may only occur in a small part of some or all of them.

BONAP reports this as also established in BC, Canada, but E-Flora BC dismisses the report as probably only of garden-persistent plants and not truly a naturalized population, and FNA says that report is based only on a single collection from ballast in 1936.


In North America this species is primarily found in gardens and usually only establishes sustaining populations in anthropogenic habitats.


This species is widely planted in gardens, typically cultivars which have been selected for showier flowers in a variety of colors. It is often sold as seeds and grown as an annual. It has a long history of cultivation going back to at least the 1,600's.

Although this species has been grown in gardens in North America for hundreds of years without becoming invasive and is likely not at high risk of becoming invasive, it can be hard to predict which plants become invasive, and plants that have not been invasive previously can becomes so later, so even if this plant is low-risk it is a poorer choice than growing locally-native plants.

This is the only plant of its genus found in the wild in North America; none are native. The genus is primarily native to Central Asia.

More broadly, this genus belongs to the Centaureinae subtribe of the Cardueae (thistle) tribe. This subtribe contains a large number of introduced, weedy species, many of which are invasive plants.

Amberboa moschata (sweetsultan) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Amberboa moschata | Go Botany (About This Site)

Amberboa moschata | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Amberboa moschata | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Amberboa moschata | Flora of North America (About This Site)

Amberboa moschata (L.) DC. | Plants of the World Online (POWO) (About This Site)