''Centaurea montana'' is a species of ''Centaurea'' endemic to Europe. It is widespread and common in the more southerly mountain ranges of Europe, but is rarer in the north. It escapes from gardens readily, and has thereby become established in the British Isles, Scandinavia and North America.
''C. montana'' grows in meadows and open woodland in the upper montane and sub-alpine zones, in basic areas. It grows to 30–70 centimetres tall, and flowers mainly from May to August.