Centaurea benedicta is native to the Mediterranean region and Asia Minor. F. K. Kupicha (1975) recognized two varieties of Cnicus benedictus: var. benedictus and var. kotschyi Boissier. A combination apparently has not been made for var. kotschyi in Centaurea. I have not determined whether one or both races are represented in North American plants of Centaurea benedicta.