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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. (ITIS)

Common names: Russian knapweed, Turkestan 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)

Impact: 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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Council or Task Force

Fact Sheet: Russian Knapweed (Jan 2014; PDF | 436 KB)
Alberta Invasive Species Council (Canada).
See also: Fact Sheets for more information about individual invasive species, including those listed as "Prohibited Noxious" and "Noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act

Russian Knapweed (PDF | 1.95 MB)
Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council (Canada).
See also: Fact Sheets - Terrestrial Plants for more species


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 (AKEPIC): Species Biography - Species Biography - Russian Knapweed (Feb 4, 2011; PDF | 262 KB)
University of Alaska - Anchorage. Alaska Center for Conservation Science.
See also: Non-Native Plant Species List for additional factsheets (species biographies) and species risk assessment reports of non-native species present in Alaska and also non-native species currently not recorded in Alaska (potential invasives).

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.

Federal Government

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Rhaponticum repens
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

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 (Feb 2015; PDF | 2.04 MB)
USDA. FS. Southwestern Region.
See also: Weed Field Guides for more species

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

State Government

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

Noxious Weed Species - Russian Knapweed
Colorado Department of Agriculture. Conservation Services Division. Noxious Weed Program.

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


Weed Gallery: Russian Knapweed
University of California. Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.

Natural Resources Series: Range - Russian Knapweed
Colorado State University Extension.

Weed Information - Russian Knapweed
New Mexico State University.

Know Your Knapweeds
North Dakota State University. Department of Plant Sciences.


Noxious Weed Information - 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: Apr 28, 2018
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