Common Name: Meadow Knapweed
Scientific Names: Centaurea x moncktonii C.E. Britton, C. jacea x nigra, C. pratensis Thuill., and C. debauxii subsp. thuilleri.
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.
Meadow knapweed is native to Europe and is likely a fertile hybrid between black (C. nigra L.) and brown (C. jacea L.) knapweeds. It may have been introduced to western North America for forage, but it is not palatable and has low nutritional value. Meadow knapweed escaped cultivation and is proliferating rapidly in the Pacific Northwest. Few meadow knapweed populations have been detected in Minnesota so it would be advantageous to control these populations before they have an opportunity to spread.
Meadow knapweed prefers sunny and wet conditions such as wet meadows, hayfields, pastures, riparian areas, roadsides, and forest openings.
Seed is the predominant means of reproduction although meadow knapweed can also be propagated by root crown fragments. Seed can be dispersed by wind, water, vehicles, and with hay. Meadow knapweed occurs in Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington in the United States and British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec in Canada. It has very limited distribution in northern Minnesota with infestations reported in St. Louis and Koochiching Counties. View meadow knapweed distribution in Minnesota.
Meadow knapweed can outcompete other plants in pastures, hayfields, meadows, riparian areas, forest margins, and rights-of-way. This can result in reduced forage, wildlife habitat, and species diversity. A similar weed species, spotted knapweed, is abundant and can hybridize with meadow knapweed if the species co-exist. Concerns about a resulting vigorous hybrid add to the rationale for meadow knapweed eradication in Minnesota.
MDA Noxious Weed Program
County Ag Inspectors