Prostrate knotweed is one of the most widespread weeds in the world (review by ). Its widespread distribution is attributed to several plant characteristics, including high genetic polymorphism, high phenotypic plasticity , prolific seed production , multiple means of seed dispersal, formation of a persistent seed bank, and allelopathy (review by ).
Prostrate knotweed is native to Europe [98,138] or Eurasia . It was likely introduced to North America with the first colonists and was first collected in Canada in 1821 (review by ). One source suggests that it was introduced as a contaminant in agricultural seeds . As of 2010, prostrate knotweed occurs in all 50 of the United States, though as of 2010, Plants Database does not report prostrate knotweed occurring in California. However, several other sources report it occurring there [14,25,59,64,100,129]. Plants Database provides a distribution map of prostrate knotweed in Canada and the United States.
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