About 450 species (in the broad sense) distributed primarily in Europe and southwestern Asia; 178 species in FSU. Only a few make good garden plants. C. bella Trautv., C. dealbata Willd., C. hypoleuca DC., C. montana L. and C. scabiosa L. are well-known.
Several ornamental species have not so far been used in gardening, among them are C. barbei (Albov) Sosn., C. fischeri Schlecht., C. ruthenica Lam. and C. woronowii Bornm. ex Sosn.