Appearance''C. montana'' may be distinguished from other ''Centaurea'' species in the region by its usually entire leaves, and the blue-purple colour of the outermost ray florets. It may be distinguished from the cornflower, ''C. cyanus'', by having a single flower heads, and by its being perennial, whereas the cornflower has many flower heads and is annual. The closely related ''C. triumfettii'' has more narrowly winged stems, narrower leaves and grows in rockier areas.
Habitat''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.
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