Spotted Knapweed – 6/27/10

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/27/10

Observation Time: 8:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road-soccer parking area

Common Name: Spotted knapweed

Scientific Name: Centaurea maculosa

Comments: Knapweed is a pioneer species found in recently disturbed sites or openings. Once it has been established at a disturbed site, it continues to spread into the surrounding habitat. This species outcompetes natives through at least three methods:

  1. A tap root that sucks up water faster than the root systems of its neighbors,
  2. Quick spread through high seed production, and
  3. Low palatability, meaning it is less likely to be chosen as food by herbivores. It is also suspected to be allelopathic, releasing a toxin from its roots that stunts the growth of nearby plants of other species.

More Information: Wikipedia

Spotted Knapweed