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You are here: Home / Plants / Species Profiles / Russian Knapweed
Species Profiles

Russian Knapweed

Russian Knapweed

Scientific name: Rhaponticum repens (L.) Hidalgo (ITIS)

Synonyms: Centaurea repens (L.), Acroptilon repens (L.) DC.

Common names: Russian knapweed, Turestan thistle, creeping knapweed, mountain bluet, Russian cornflower, hardheads

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Selected Resources

Native To: Eurasia (Zouhar 2001)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Early 1900s (Zouhar 2001)

Means of Introduction: Accidentally as a seed contaminant (Zouhar 2001)

Impacts: Crowds out native species and desirable forage; toxic to horses (Zouhar 2001)

Current U.S. Distribution:



  • YouTube - Russian Knapweed
    Google. YouTube; University of Wyoming Extension. Sustainable Management of Rangeland Resources Initiative Team.

Selected Resources:

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Fact Sheet: Russian Knapweed (Jan 2014; PDF | 436 KB)
Alberta Invasive Plants Council (Canada).

Russian Knapweed (PDF | 1.95 MB)
Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council (Canada).


Federal Noxious Weed Disseminules of the U.S. - Fact Sheet: Acroptilon repens
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Alaska Exotic Plants Information Clearinghouse: Species Biography - Species Biography - Russian Knapweed (Feb 4, 2011; PDF | 262 KB)
University of Alaska - Anchorage. Alaska Natural Heritage Program.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Russian Knapweed
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Texas Invasives Database - Acroptilon repens

Invasive Species Compendium - Rhaponticum repens
CAB International.


Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) - Rhaponticum repens
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Acroptilon repens
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

Field Guide for Managing Russian Knapweed in the Southwest (Dec 2012; PDF | 2.38 MB)
USDA. FS. Southwestern Region.

PLANTS Database - Hardheads
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

Guide to Weeds in British Columbia - Russian Knapweed
British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries (Canada).


Encycloweedia: Data Sheet - Russian Knapweed
California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Included on California's noxious weed list; see Encycloweedia: Program Details for additional resources.

Russian Knapweed - Best Management Practices Weed Profile (PDF | 210 KB)
Colorado State Parks.

Class B Noxious Weed: Russian Knapweed
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board.


Russian Knapweed
University of California. Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.

Russian Knapweed
Colorado State University. Cooperative Extension.

Weed Factsheet - Russian Knapweed (PDF | 203 KB)
New Mexico State University.

Know Your Knapweeds (PDF | 153 KB)
North Dakota State University. Department of Plant Sciences.


Russian Knapweed
Colorado Weed Management Association.

Weed Identification - Russian Knapweed
Montana Weed Control Association.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Rhaponticum repens. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Zouhar, K.L. 2001. Acroptilon repens. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

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Last Modified: Nov 19, 2015
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