Common Name: Brown Knapweed
Scientific Name: Centaurea jacea L.
Alternate Names: Brown-rayed knapweed, brown-ray knapweed and brownray knapweed
Related Species: Other knapweeds and hybrids including spotted knapweed, Centaurea stoebe L. ssp. micranthos (Gugler)
All above and below ground parts of the plant must be destroyed. Additionally, no transportation, propagation, or sale of this plant is allowed. Failure to comply may result in an enforcement action by the county or local municipality. Minnesota Noxious Weed Law.
Brown knapweed is native to Europe. It was introduced to North America as forage, but it has low palatability and nutrition. It escaped cultivation and has become invasive, but is not common in Minnesota.
Brown knapweed can be found growing in woodland clearings, yards, ditches, in disturbed areas, pastures and other grasslands. It thrives in sunny locations and is also somewhat shade tolerant. It thrives in cool, moist locations.
It spreads by seed that can be moved by wind, water, wildlife, equipment and humans. It has been documented at a small number of sites in northern Minnesota. View distribution of brown knapweed in Minnesota.
Brown knapweed outcompetes desirable species to form large monocultures. Forage quality, species diversity and wildlife habitat are reduced. A similar weed species, spotted knapweed, is abundant and can hybridize with brown knapweed if the species co-exist. Concerns about a resulting vigorous hybrid add to the rational for brown knapweed eradication in Minnesota.
MDA Noxious Weed Program
County Ag Inspectors