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Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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More info for the terms: allelopathy, formation, phenotypic plasticity

Prostrate knotweed is one of the most widespread weeds in the world (review by [32]). Its widespread distribution is attributed to several plant characteristics, including high genetic polymorphism, high phenotypic plasticity [104], prolific seed production [123], multiple means of seed dispersal, formation of a persistent seed bank, and allelopathy (review by [32]).

Prostrate knotweed is native to Europe [98,138] or Eurasia [81]. It was likely introduced to North America with the first colonists and was first collected in Canada in 1821 (review by [32]). One source suggests that it was introduced as a contaminant in agricultural seeds [96]. 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.

  • 14. Bogiatto, Raymond J., II. 1990. Fall and winter food habits of American coots in the northern Sacramento Valley, California. California Fish and Game. 76(4): 211-215. [25182]
  • 25. Clark, Ronilee A.; Halvorson, William L.; Sawdo, Andell A.; Danielsen, Karen C. 1990. Plant communities of Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park. Tech. Rep. No. 42. Davis, CA: University of California, Institute of Ecology, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. 93 p. [18246]
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 59. Forseth, I. N.; Ehleringer, J. R.; Werk, K. S.; Cook, C. S. 1984. Field water relations of Sonoran Desert annuals. Ecology. 65(5): 1436-1444. [77996]
  • 64. Graves, George W. 1932. Ecological relationships of Pinus sabiniana. Botanical Gazette. 94(1): 106-133. [63160]
  • 81. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 96. Mack, Richard N.; Erneberg, Marianne. 2002. The United States naturalized flora: largely the product of deliberate introductions. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 89(2): 176-189. [74577]
  • 98. Magee, Dennis W.; Ahles, Harry E. 2007. Flora of the Northeast: A manual of the vascular flora of New England and adjacent New York. 2nd ed. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. 1214 p. [74293]
  • 100. Mason, Herbert L. 1957. A flora of the marshes of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 878 p. [16905]
  • 104. Meerts, P. 1995. Phenotypic plasticity in the annual weed Polygonum aviculare. Botanica Acta. 108(5): 414-424. [77943]
  • 123. Royer, France; Dickinson, Richard. 1999. Weeds of the northern U.S. and Canada: a guide for identification. Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta Press; Renton, WA: Lone Pine Publishing. 434 p. [52727]
  • 129. Smiley, F. J. 1915. The alpine and subalpine vegetation of the Lake Tahoe region. Botanical Gazette. 59(4): 265-286. [62711]
  • 138. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]

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Distribution in Egypt

Nile and Mediterranean regions.

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Global Distribution

Cosmopolitan.

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Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [widely distributed in N temperate zone; widely naturalized in S temperate zone].
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Widely distributed in temperate and subtropical regions.
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Distribution: Widely distributed in temperate and subtropical regions of both the hemispheres.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: bisexual

Botanical description: This description covers characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available (e.g., [32,46,47,48,61,73,98,99,109,116,138,154,165,169]). For a key to the prostrate knotweed subspecies recognized in North America, see: [32].

Prostrate knotweed is generally considered an annual [32,65,69,99,160], though some sources report it as occasionally perennial [44,70,116].

Prostrate knotweed plants exhibit highly variable architecture depending on both genetic and environmental factors [32]. In general, prostrate knotweed is a mat-forming plant [65], with mats reaching 4 to 48 inches (10-122 cm) in diameter [113]. Prostrate knotweed stems are prostrate to erect, 2 to 80 inches (6-200 cm) long. Leaves are alternate and vary in size and shape, but are generally ovate. Inflorescences are axillary cymes with 2 to 6 flowers. Flowers are bisexual [32]. Prostrate knotweed fruits are one-seeded nuts [105]. Seeds are achenes, 1.7 to 4.0 mm long [32].

Prostrate knotweed has a taproot [32,65,116]. Taproots of mature prostrate knotweed plants in alluvial soil reached depths of 30 inches (70 cm). Dense horizontal secondary roots were distributed in the upper 5 to 10 inches (15-25 cm) of soil (Kutschera 1960 cited in [32]). On sand dunes in the deserts of Death Valley National Monument, prostrate knotweed taproots penetrated approximately 5 inches (13 cm) in the soil and roots exhibited very little lateral spread (approximately 1 inch (3 cm)). Ten plants had an average root to shoot ratio of 0.09 [59].

  • 165. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908]
  • 154. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 160. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 169. Wunderlin, Richard P.; Hansen, Bruce F. 2003. Guide to the vascular plants of Florida. 2nd edition. Gainesville, FL: The University of Florida Press. 787 p. [69433]
  • 61. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 44. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 46. Dorn, Robert D. 1977. Flora of the Black Hills. Cheyenne, WY: Robert D. Dorn and Jane L. Dorn. 377 p. [820]
  • 47. Dorn, Robert D. 1984. Vascular plants of Montana. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 276 p. [819]
  • 48. Dorn, Robert D. 1988. Vascular plants of Wyoming. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 340 p. [6129]
  • 59. Forseth, I. N.; Ehleringer, J. R.; Werk, K. S.; Cook, C. S. 1984. Field water relations of Sonoran Desert annuals. Ecology. 65(5): 1436-1444. [77996]
  • 65. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 69. Haragan, Patricia Dalton. 1991. Weeds of Kentucky and adjacent states: A field guide. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky. 278 p. [72646]
  • 70. Harrington, H. D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: The Swallow Press. 666 p. [6851]
  • 73. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 98. Magee, Dennis W.; Ahles, Harry E. 2007. Flora of the Northeast: A manual of the vascular flora of New England and adjacent New York. 2nd ed. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. 1214 p. [74293]
  • 99. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 105. Meerts, Pierre. 1992. An experimental investigation of life history and plasticity in two cytotypes of Polygonum aviculare L. subsp. aviculare that coexist in an abandoned arable field. Oecologia. 92(3): 442-449. [77970]
  • 113. Parker, Kittie F. 1982. An illustrated guide to Arizona weeds. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 338 p. [74217]
  • 116. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 138. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 109. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]

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Description

Much of the information presented in this section comes from a comprehensive review of the biology of prostrate knotweed in Canada. For more information on this source, see Costea and Tardiff 2005 [32].
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]

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Description

Plants green or bluish green, green after drying, sometimes whitish from powdery mildew, homophyl-lous or heterophyllous. Stems prostrate to erect, branched, flex-uous, 5-200 cm. Leaves: ocrea 3-15 mm, proximal part cylindric or ± funnelform, distal part silvery, hyaline, soon disintegrating into persistent fibers or nearly completely deciduous; petiole 0.3-9 mm; blade green to gray-green, narrowly elliptic, lanceolate, elliptic, obovate, or spatulate, 6-50(-60) × 0.5-22 mm, margins flat, apex acute, obtuse, or rounded; stem leaves 1-4 times as long as adjacent branch leaves; distal leaves overtopping flowers. Inflorescences axillary; cymes uniformly distributed or aggregated at tips of stems and branches, 1-6(-8)-flowered. Pedicels enclosed in or exserted from ocreae, 1.5-5 mm. Flowers closed or semi-open; perianth 1.8-5.5 mm; tube 20-57% of perianth length; tepals overlapping or not, green or reddish brown with white, pink, or red margins, petaloid, not keeled, oblong to obovate, often cucullate in fruit; midveins branched or unbranched, thickened or not; stamens 5-8. Achenes enclosed in or exserted from perianth, light to dark brown, ovate, (2-)3-gonous, 1.2-4.2 mm, faces subequal or unequal, apex not beaked, edges slightly concave, dull, usually coarsely striate-tubercled, sometimes obscurely tubercled; late-season achenes common or not, 2-5 mm.
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Elevation Range

2200-3800 m
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Description

Suberect-erect, ascending or decumbent, glabrous annual herb, branched mostly from base. Leaves heterophyllous, lower larger on main branches, smaller on the lateral and upper branches, 0.8-2.5 x 0.25-1.0 cm, elliptic - lanceolate or ovate, acute, entire, dotted. Ochrea 0.75-1.25 cm long, bifid, silvery, membranous lacerate. Inflorescence solitary, axillary or 3-5 clusters. Flower 0.5-0.75 mm across, pedicel 0.5-0.75 (-1.0) mm. Ochrealae minute. Tepals 5, 1.5-2.0 x 0.5-1 mm, elliptic-lanceolate or ovate, obtuse-acute, entire. Stamens 5 (-4), filaments short, equal; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary 0.25-0.5 mm, ovate - circular, trigonous with 3 very short styles and capitate stigmas. Nuts 2-2.5 x 1.0-1.5 mm, ovate, trigonous, black, shining, striate.
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Description

Herbs annual. Stems prostrate, ascending, or erect, 10-40 cm tall, much branched from base. Petiole short or nearly absent, articulate at base; leaf blade lanceolate or narrowly elliptic, 1-4 cm × 3-12 mm, both surfaces glabrous, midvein and lateral veins conspicuous, base cuneate, margin entire, apex acute or nearly obtuse; ocrea: lower part brown, upper part white or throughout brown, membranous, veined, apex lacerate. Flowers 1-5; axillary; bracts thinly membranous. Pedicel slender, articulate at apex. Perianth green, margin white or pinkish, 5-cleft to 2/3-3/4; tepals elliptic, 2-2.5 mm. Stamens 8; filaments dilated at base. Styles 3, free, short; stigmas capitate. Achenes included or slightly exceeding persistent perianth, black-brown, opaque, ovoid, trigonous, 2.5-3 mm, minutely granular striate. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Jul-Aug. 2n = 40, 60.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Polygonum centinodum Lamk., Fl. Francies 3: 237. 1778; P. erectum Roth Beitr. Bot. 2: 131. 1783; P.heterophyllum Lindm. Svensk. Bot. Tidskr. 6: 960. 1912; P. aviculare var. heterophyllum (Lindm.) Munshi & Javeid, l.c. 55.
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Type Information

Possible type for Polygonum berteroi Phil.
Catalog Number: US 1157625
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Locality: Chile, South America
  • Possible type: Philippi, R. A. 1858. Linnaea. 29: 38.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

Site types: A weed identification guide reports that prostrate knotweed is commonly found in areas with trampled, compacted soil, and persists in areas where other species do not grow well or are damaged [150]. Floras report that prostrate knotweed occurs on a variety of disturbed sites [44,46,47,48,121,154,155,165,169] including roadsides [69,81,98,121,154], railroad embankments [154], and sidewalk cracks [98,154]. Prostrate knotweed also establishes in disturbed areas associated with hiking trails [93], eroded or overgrazed mountain meadows [113], and mine sites [72,125]. Prostrate knotweed is also common in cultivated fields [61,65,69,70,113,138], pastures [155], lawns [98,154], gardens [69], and near dwellings [116].

Elevation: Prostrate knotweed occurs at a wide range of elevations (100 to 10,120 feet (30-3,080 m) in North America.

Elevation of sites with prostrate knotweed in North America
Location Elevation (feet)
Arizona 100 to 8,500 [113]
Colorado 5,000 to 9,500 [70]
Hawaii 3,280 to 6,820 [40,155]
Montana 2,200 [17]
Nevada 8,600 to 9,500 [142]
New Hampshire 3,800 [54]
New Mexico 2,700 [168]
Utah 2,495 to 10,120 [160]

Soil: Prostrate knotweed tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, the extremes of which may not be favorable to other plants. One review states that prostrate knotweed grows well in soils that are compacted, poorly aerated, poor to rich in nutrients, and of all types and textures. Prostrate knotweed also tolerates soils with a high salt content, high calcium content, heavy metal contamination, and a range of pH (5 to 8.4) [32]. In China, prostrate knotweed established and grew "prolifically" in soils with pH 3.5 [174]. Observations from Colorado suggest that prostrate knotweed was one of few species able to establish in heavily eroded areas following severe sheet erosion [77]. In Iran, prostrate knotweed established on dried lead and zinc mine waste pools that had elevated levels of cadmium, copper, iron, nitrogen, lead, and zinc [24]. Also in Iran, prostrate knotweed grew at higher densities than any other plant on soils contaminated with petroleum products, and contamination did not prevent germination [110].

Prostrate knotweed is reported on soils of various types and textures in North America. Several studies report it growing on sandy soil. In central Arizona, prostrate knotweed occurred on riparian silt and sand [166]. Along the Colorado River in Arizona, it established on loamy sand [134]. In northeastern Wyoming it occurred on sandy loam [3]. Prostrate knotweed also established on a sand bar in Lake Superior, Minnesota [90] and on exposed lake sediment in northwestern New Mexico [168]. In northwestern Colorado, is established on alluvial soil with a heavy clay content [6]. On the ridges of Monument Peak, Oregon, prostrate knotweed occurred in shallow, gravelly soils on rocky outcrops [4].

Several sources report prostrate knotweed growing on shallow soils [4,8,71]. Prostrate knotweed grows on both dry and moist soils [113]. In northwestern New Mexico, prostrate knotweed established adjacent to a lakebed and survived for a year despite partial submergence [168].

Prostrate knotweed occurs on saline sites [15,16,17,51,58,148]. In Nebraska, prostrate knotweed was widely scattered along the borders of salt pans, establishing in areas with low salinity (0.5% to 0.7% total salts) compared to areas where it did not establish [148]. On brine spill sites in Ohio, prostrate knotweed tolerated moderate salinity levels, though an increase in salinity was correlated with lower prostrate knotweed abundance, higher mortality, earlier senescence, lower aboveground biomass, and lower germination rates [58]. In northeastern Ohio, prostrate knotweed was not present in the extant vegetation but occurred in the soil seed bank of a highly saline (3.5% NaCl) saltpan [51].

Climate: Prostrate knotweed occurs in a wide range of climates, from subtropical to subarctic [32]. Precipitation varies across the range of prostrate knotweed.

Average annual precipitation for locations with prostrate knotweed in North America
Location Average annual precipitation (mm)
Arizona 215 [134]
444 [88]
Colorado 310 [56]
540 [167]
Idaho 280 [27]
Montana 305 [17]
Nebraska 686 [2]
Ohio 1,010 [58]
Oregon 1,780 [108]
Texas 1,040 [128]
Wyoming 226 [72]

Prostrate knotweed can withstand drought [2,18,32,113], though slow growth and low survivorship was linked to low precipitation and soil moisture in the deserts of Death Valley National Monument [59].

  • 165. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908]
  • 154. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 160. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 169. Wunderlin, Richard P.; Hansen, Bruce F. 2003. Guide to the vascular plants of Florida. 2nd edition. Gainesville, FL: The University of Florida Press. 787 p. [69433]
  • 61. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 2. Albertson, F. W.; Weaver, J. E. 1944. Nature and degree of recovery of grassland from the great drought of 1933 to 1940. Ecological Monographs. 14(4): 393-479. [2462]
  • 3. Allen, Edith Bach; Knight, Dennis H. 1984. The effects of introduced annuals on secondary succession in sagebrush-grassland, Wyoming. The Southwestern Naturalist. 29(4): 407-421. [44452]
  • 4. Aller, Alvin R. 1956. A taxonomic and ecological study of the flora of Monument Peak, Oregon. The American Midland Naturalist. 56(2): 454-472. [6385]
  • 6. Baker, William L.; Kennedy, Susan C. 1985. Presettlement vegetation of part of northwestern Moffat County, Colorado, described from remnants. The Great Basin Naturalist. 45(4): 747-783. [384]
  • 8. Baskin, Jerry M.; Webb, David H.; Baskin, Carol C. 1995. A floristic plant ecology study of the limestone glades of northern Alabama. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 122(3): 226-242. [46869]
  • 15. Braidek, J. T.; Fedec, P.; Jones, D. 1984. Field survey of halophytic plants of disturbed sites on the Canadian prairies. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 64: 745-751. [24018]
  • 16. Branson, F. A.; Miller, R. F.; McQueen, I. S. 1967. Geographic distribution and factors affecting the distribution of salt desert shrubs in the United States. Journal of Range Management. 20: 287-296. [509]
  • 17. Branson, F. A.; Miller, R. F.; McQueen, I. S. 1970. Plant communities and associated soil and water factors on shale-derived soils in northeastern Montana. Ecology. 51(3): 391-407. [55521]
  • 18. Branson, Farrel A.; Miller, Reuben F. 1981. Effects of increased precipitation and grazing management on northeastern Montana rangelands. Journal of Range Management. 34(1): 3-10. [7507]
  • 24. Chehregani, Abdolkarim; Noori, Mitra; Yazdi, Hossein Lari. 2009. Phytoremediation of heavy-metal-polluted soils: screening for new accumulator plants in Angouran mine (Iran) and evaluation of removal ability. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 72(5): 1349-1353. [77930]
  • 27. Clifton, Nancy A. 1981. Response to prescribed fire in a Wyoming big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass habitat type. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho. 39 p. Thesis. [650]
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 40. Daehler, Curtis C. 2005. Upper-montane plant invasions in the Hawaiian Islands: patterns and opportunities. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. 7(3): 203-216. [69378]
  • 44. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 46. Dorn, Robert D. 1977. Flora of the Black Hills. Cheyenne, WY: Robert D. Dorn and Jane L. Dorn. 377 p. [820]
  • 47. Dorn, Robert D. 1984. Vascular plants of Montana. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 276 p. [819]
  • 48. Dorn, Robert D. 1988. Vascular plants of Wyoming. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 340 p. [6129]
  • 51. Egan, Todd P.; Ungar, Irwin A. 2000. Similarity between seed banks and above-ground vegetation along a salinity gradient. Journal of Vegetation Science. 11(2): 189-194. [78741]
  • 54. Fay, Stephen. 1975. Ground-cover vegetation management at backcountry recreation sites. Res. Note NE-201. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 5 p. [22128]
  • 56. Flinders, Jerran T.; Hansen, Richard M. 1972. Diets and habitats of jackrabbits in northeastern Colorado. Range Science Department Science Series No. 12. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 29 p. [63966]
  • 58. Foderaro, Margaret Angela. 1995. Effects of edaphic factors and competition on the demography, biomass production, and ionic content of Polygonum aviculare L. (Polygonaceae) at a saline site in southeastern Ohio. Athens, OH: Ohio University, Department of Environmental and Plant Biology. 99 p. Thesis. [79009]
  • 59. Forseth, I. N.; Ehleringer, J. R.; Werk, K. S.; Cook, C. S. 1984. Field water relations of Sonoran Desert annuals. Ecology. 65(5): 1436-1444. [77996]
  • 65. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 69. Haragan, Patricia Dalton. 1991. Weeds of Kentucky and adjacent states: A field guide. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky. 278 p. [72646]
  • 70. Harrington, H. D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: The Swallow Press. 666 p. [6851]
  • 71. Hart, Robin. 1980. The coexistence of weeds and restricted native plants on serpentine barrens in southeastern Pennsylvania. Ecology. 61(3): 688-701. [78747]
  • 72. Hatton, Thomas J.; West, Neil E. 1987. Early seral trends in plant community diversity on a recontoured surface mine. Vegetatio. 73(1): 21-29. [77995]
  • 77. Johnson, W. M. 1945. Natural revegetation of abandoned crop land in the ponderosa pine zone of the Pike's Peak region in Colorado. Ecology. 26(4): 363-374. [56118]
  • 81. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 88. Kuenzi, Amanda M.; Fule, Peter Z.; Sieg, Carolyn Hull. 2008. Effects of fire severity and pre-fire stand treatment on plant community recovery after a large wildfire. Forest Ecology and Management. 255(3-4): 855-865. [69958]
  • 90. Lakela, Olga. 1939. A floristic study of a developing plant community on Minnesota Point, Minnesota. Ecology. 20(4): 544-552. [67538]
  • 93. Larson, Diane L. 2003. Native weeds and exotic plants: relationships to disturbance in mixed-grass prairie. Plant Ecology. 169(2): 317-333. [78744]
  • 98. Magee, Dennis W.; Ahles, Harry E. 2007. Flora of the Northeast: A manual of the vascular flora of New England and adjacent New York. 2nd ed. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. 1214 p. [74293]
  • 108. Mitchell, Diane Lynne. 1982. Salt marsh reestablishment following dike breaching in the Salmon River estuary, Oregon. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. 183 p. Dissertation. [72292]
  • 110. Mohsenzadeh, Fariba; Naseri, Simin; Mesdaghinia, Alireza; Nabizadeh, Ramin; Chehregani, Abdolkarim; Zafari, Doustmorad. 2009. Identification of petroleum resistant plants and rhizospheral fungi for phytoremediation of petroleum contaminated soils. Journal of the Japan Petroleum Institute. 52(4): 198-204. [77877]
  • 113. Parker, Kittie F. 1982. An illustrated guide to Arizona weeds. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 338 p. [74217]
  • 116. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 121. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 125. Schladweiler, Brenda K.; Vance, George F.; Legg, David E.; Munn, Larry C.; Haroian, Rose. 2005. Topsoil depth effects on reclaimed coal mine and native area vegetation in northeastern Wyoming. Rangeland Ecology & Management. 58(2): 167-176. [78834]
  • 128. Singhurst, Jason R.; Cathy, James C.; Prochaska, Dale; Haucke, Hayden; Kroh, Glenn C.; Holmes, Walter C. 2003. The vascular flora of Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area, Anderson County, Texas. Southeastern Naturalist. 2(3): 347-368. [76708]
  • 134. Stevens, Lawrence E.; Schmidt, John C.; Ayers, Tina J.; Brown, Bryan T. 1995. Flow regulation, geomorphology, and Colorado River marsh development in the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Ecological Applications. 5(4): 1025-1039. [48984]
  • 138. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 142. Titus, Jonathan H.; Landau, Fred. 2003. Ski slope vegetation of Lee Canyon, Nevada, USA. The Southwestern Naturalist. 48(4): 491-504. [70074]
  • 148. Ungar, Irwin A.; Hogan, William; McClelland, Mark. 1969. Plant communities of saline soils at Lincoln, Nebraska. The American Midland Naturalist. 82(2): 564-577. [11194]
  • 150. Uva, Richard H.; Neal, Joseph C.; DiTomaso, Joseph M., eds. 1997. Weeds of the Northeast. New York: Cornell University Press. 397 p. [72430]
  • 155. Wagner, Warren L.; Herbst, Derral R.; Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i. Revised edition: Volume 2. Bishop Museum Special Publication 97. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press; Bishop Museum Press. 929 p. [70168]
  • 166. Wolden, L. G.; Stromberg, J. C.; Patten, D. T. 1995. Flora and vegetation of the Hassayampa River Preserve, Maricopa County, Arizona. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science. 28(1/2): 76-111. [76988]
  • 167. Wolf, Joy J. 2008. Fighting with fire: restoring montane grasslands and controlling Melilotus in Rocky Mountain National Park. Ecological Restoration. 26(3): 219-228. [71555]
  • 168. Wright, H. E., Jr.; Bent, Anne M. 1968. Vegetation bands around Dead Man Lake, Chuska Mountain, New Mexico. The American Midland Naturalist. 79(1): 8-30. [77978]
  • 174. You, Jiang Feng; He, Yun Feng; Yang, Jian Li; Zheng, Shao Jian. 2005. A comparison of aluminum resistance among Polygonum species originating on strongly acidic and neutral soils. Plant and Soil. 276(1-2): 143-151. [77882]

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Near fields, roadsides, waste places; sea level to 4200 m.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Grows from plains to 3500 m, as a weed in area of cultivation, on waste ground, moist and shady areas.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Associations

Foodplant / gall
Aspidaphis adjuvans causes gall of shoot tip of Polygonum aviculare sens.str.

Foodplant / gall
larva of Augasma aeratella causes gall of bud of Polygonum aviculare sens.str.

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
cleistothecium of Erysiphe polygoni parasitises live Polygonum aviculare sens.str.

Foodplant / gall
Melanopsichium nepalense causes gall of inflorescence axis of Polygonum aviculare sens.str.

Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Peronospora polygoni parasitises live Polygonum aviculare sens.str.

Foodplant / parasite
uredium of Uromyces polygoni-avicularis parasitises live stem of Polygonum aviculare sens.str.
Remarks: season: 7-11
Other: major host/prey

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Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Amalus scortillum feeds on Polygonum aviculare agg.

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Apion lemoroi feeds within stem of Polygonum aviculare agg.

Foodplant / sap sucker
adult of Coreus marginatus sucks sap of seed of Polygonum aviculare agg.

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Gastrophysa polygoni grazes on live, riddled with holes leaf of Polygonum aviculare agg.
Remarks: season: 8-9
Other: major host/prey

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General Ecology

Fuels and Fire Regimes

More info for the terms: fire regime, fuel, prescribed fire

Fuels: As of 2010, little is known about the fuel characteristics of prostrate knotweed. The potential for prostrate knotweed to alter fuel characteristics likely varies by plant community. It is not clear whether the persistence of dead mats of vegetation or stems from year to year would represent an increased fuel load or fire hazard.

FIRE REGIMES: It is not known what type of fire regime prostrate knotweed is best adapted to. Results from a study in a northeastern Kansas tallgrass prairie suggest that annual prescribed fire is more favorable to prostrate knotweed than fire at 4-year intervals or no fire [143]. However, it is impossible to make valid generalizations from a single study from a single plant community. As the Fire Regime Table indicates, prostrate knotweed occurs in a wide range of North American plant communities that exhibit a full range of fire regime characteristics. It is also likely that prostrate knotweed occurs in plant communities and associated FIRE REGIMES not presented in this table. See the full Fire Regime Table for information on FIRE REGIMES of other plant communities of interest. The impacts of prostrate knotweed on these FIRE REGIMES are unknown.

  • 143. Trager, Matthew D.; Wilson, Gail W.; Hartnett, David C. 2004. Concurrent effects of fire regime, grazing and bison wallowing on tallgrass prairie vegetation. The American Midland Naturalist. 152(2): 237-247. [61193]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: density, shrubs, succession

Prostrate knotweed establishes in early successional plant communities, though it may persist into later successional stages. Prostrate knotweed established in early succession on heavily eroded buttes in the Badlands region of western North Dakota [79]. In abandoned fields in Colorado, prostrate knotweed occurred in a full range of field ages, including fields abandoned 3 months prior to sampling, and fields abandoned for 62 years [77]. In blue grama and buffalo grass grasslands in eastern Colorado, prostrate knotweed dominated abandoned roads in the early stages of succession. Prostrate knotweed density was highest on roadbeds 2 years after abandonment. It occurred infrequently >5 years after road abandonment [126]. In mixed-grass prairies in southeastern Wyoming, prostrate knotweed was one of several annuals dominating the vegetation in the first years following plowing or scraping and was seldom observed 10 years after disturbance [124]. At mine sites in Wyoming, prostrate knotweed was a dominant species 1 to 4 years following plantings of native shrubs and grasses at one location [72] and established within 2 years of soil placement in another location [125]. Prostrate knotweed has also been reported at numerous sites in the first few years following fire [27,35,42,60,64,88,106,112,115,143,167]. See Plant response to fire for more information.

Several sources report a preference for open sites [50,116,160] and light is generally though to improve germination.

Prostrate knotweed establishes on disturbed sites, including logged areas [156], revegetating mine sites [72,125], scraped and plowed mixed-grass prairie [124], roads, hiking trails [93], ski runs [142], backcountry shelters [54], heavily eroded areas [77,79], exposed sand bars [90], and lake shores [168]. Prostrate knotweed is often associated with locations disturbed by domestic and wild animals. It tolerates trampling [113,160,168] and is found in areas heavily grazed by cattle [149] and bison [143,158]. In old fields in Germany, prostrate knotweed established in areas grubbed by wild boars [107]. Prostrate knotweed also commonly establishes in the highly disturbed areas surrounding black-tailed prairie dog towns [93,149].

Some sources report prostrate knotweed occurring in disturbed areas but not in adjacent undisturbed plant communities. In southern Nevada, prostrate knotweed established on ski runs but did not spread into surrounding forests [142]. In deciduous riparian forests in southeastern Arizona, prostrate knotweed was present in the soil seed bank in areas that had some human disturbance but was absent from the seed bank in undisturbed areas [120].

Though examples of prostrate knotweed spreading from disturbed areas into undisturbed areas are lacking in the literature (2010), some sources report it occurring in adjacent disturbed and undisturbed areas, suggesting that such spread is possible. Prostrate knotweed occurred both along roadsides and in the interior of ponderosa pine forests in Arizona, though populations were more dense and occurred more frequently along roadsides [60]. In the northern Rocky Mountains, prostrate knotweed occurred in both disturbed areas (e.g., ditch banks and logged areas) as well as nearby undisturbed areas (e.g., subalpine meadows) [156].

  • 160. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 27. Clifton, Nancy A. 1981. Response to prescribed fire in a Wyoming big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass habitat type. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho. 39 p. Thesis. [650]
  • 35. Crawford, Julie A.; Wahren, C.-H. A.; Kyle, S.; Moir, W. H. 2001. Responses of exotic plant species to fires in Pinus ponderosa forests in northern Arizona. Journal of Vegetation Science. 12(2): 261-268. [40145]
  • 50. Easterly, Nathan William. 1979. Non-indigenous plant species in the oak openings of northwestern Ohio. Castanea. 44(3): 142-149. [71404]
  • 54. Fay, Stephen. 1975. Ground-cover vegetation management at backcountry recreation sites. Res. Note NE-201. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 5 p. [22128]
  • 60. Fowler, James F.; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; Dickson, Brett G.; Saab, Victoria. 2008. Exotic plant species diversity: influence of roads and prescribed fire in Arizona ponderosa pine forests. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 61: 284-293. [70957]
  • 64. Graves, George W. 1932. Ecological relationships of Pinus sabiniana. Botanical Gazette. 94(1): 106-133. [63160]
  • 72. Hatton, Thomas J.; West, Neil E. 1987. Early seral trends in plant community diversity on a recontoured surface mine. Vegetatio. 73(1): 21-29. [77995]
  • 77. Johnson, W. M. 1945. Natural revegetation of abandoned crop land in the ponderosa pine zone of the Pike's Peak region in Colorado. Ecology. 26(4): 363-374. [56118]
  • 88. Kuenzi, Amanda M.; Fule, Peter Z.; Sieg, Carolyn Hull. 2008. Effects of fire severity and pre-fire stand treatment on plant community recovery after a large wildfire. Forest Ecology and Management. 255(3-4): 855-865. [69958]
  • 90. Lakela, Olga. 1939. A floristic study of a developing plant community on Minnesota Point, Minnesota. Ecology. 20(4): 544-552. [67538]
  • 93. Larson, Diane L. 2003. Native weeds and exotic plants: relationships to disturbance in mixed-grass prairie. Plant Ecology. 169(2): 317-333. [78744]
  • 112. Ott, Jeffrey E.; McArthur, E. Durant; Sanderson, Stewart C. 2001. Plant community dynamics of burned and unburned sagebrush and pinyon-juniper vegetation in west-central Utah. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., compilers. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 177-191. [41971]
  • 113. Parker, Kittie F. 1982. An illustrated guide to Arizona weeds. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 338 p. [74217]
  • 115. Piper, Jon K.; Gernes, Mark C. 1989. Vegetation dynamics of three tallgrass prairie sites. In: Bragg, Thomas B.; Stubbendieck, James, eds. Prairie pioneers: ecology, history and culture: Proceedings, 11th North American prairie conference; 1988 August 7-11; Lincoln, NE. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska: 9-14. [14011]
  • 116. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 120. Richter, Rebecca; Stromberg, Juliet C. 2005. Soil seed banks of two montane riparian areas: implications for restoration. Biodiversity and Conservation. 14(4): 993-1016. [60044]
  • 124. Samuel, Marilyn J.; Hart, Richard H. 1994. Sixty-one years of secondary succession on rangelands of the Wyoming high plains. Journal of Range Management. 47: 184-191. [23026]
  • 125. Schladweiler, Brenda K.; Vance, George F.; Legg, David E.; Munn, Larry C.; Haroian, Rose. 2005. Topsoil depth effects on reclaimed coal mine and native area vegetation in northeastern Wyoming. Rangeland Ecology & Management. 58(2): 167-176. [78834]
  • 126. Shantz, H. L. 1917. Plant succession on abandoned roads in eastern Colorado. The Journal of Ecology. 5(1): 19-42. [60503]
  • 142. Titus, Jonathan H.; Landau, Fred. 2003. Ski slope vegetation of Lee Canyon, Nevada, USA. The Southwestern Naturalist. 48(4): 491-504. [70074]
  • 143. Trager, Matthew D.; Wilson, Gail W.; Hartnett, David C. 2004. Concurrent effects of fire regime, grazing and bison wallowing on tallgrass prairie vegetation. The American Midland Naturalist. 152(2): 237-247. [61193]
  • 149. Uresk, Daniel W. 1984. Black-tailed prairie dog food habits and forage relationships in western South Dakota. Journal of Range Management. 37(4): 325-329. [66731]
  • 156. Weaver, T.; Lichthart, J.; Gustafson, D. 1990. Exotic invasion of timberline vegetation, Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. In: Schmidt, Wyman C.; McDonald, Kathy J., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on whitebark pine ecosystems: ecology and management of a high-mountain resource; 1989 March 29-31; Bozeman, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-270. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 208-213. [11688]
  • 167. Wolf, Joy J. 2008. Fighting with fire: restoring montane grasslands and controlling Melilotus in Rocky Mountain National Park. Ecological Restoration. 26(3): 219-228. [71555]
  • 168. Wright, H. E., Jr.; Bent, Anne M. 1968. Vegetation bands around Dead Man Lake, Chuska Mountain, New Mexico. The American Midland Naturalist. 79(1): 8-30. [77978]
  • 42. Diboll, Neil. 1986. Mowing as an alternative to spring burning for control of cool season exotic grasses in prairie grass plantings. In: Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present and future: Proceedings of the 9th North American prairie conference; 1984 July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University Center for Environmental Studies: 204-209. [3574]
  • 79. Judd, B. Ira. 1939. Plant succession on scoria buttes of western North Dakota. Ecology. 20(2): 335-336. [55047]
  • 107. Milton, S. J.; Dean, W. R. J.; Klotz, S. 1997. Effects of small-scale animal disturbances on plant assemblages of set-aside land in central Germany. Journal of Vegetation Science. 8(1): 45-54. [77942]
  • 158. Wein, Ross W.; Wein, Gerold; Bahret, Sieglinde; Cody, William J. 1992. Northward invading non-native vascular plant species in and adjacent to Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada. The Canadian Field-Naturalist. 106(2): 216-224. [24014]
  • 106. Metlen, Kerry L.; Dodson, Erich K.; Fiedler, Carl E. 2006. Research Project Summary--Vegetation response to restoration treatments in ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forests. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis. [64679]

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Seedling establishment and plant growth

More info for the terms: density, natural

Seedlings: A weed identification guide reports that prostrate knotweed seedlings grow slowly [150]. Prostrate knotweed seedlings may reach high densities, though as of this writing (2010) there were no quantitative descriptions of seedling densities in natural plant communities. In experimental winter wheat (Triticum sp.) fields in Spain, prostrate knotweed seedling density was 3 times higher in tilled than untilled fields (P<0.05), exceeding 100 seedlings/m². A few new seedlings were observed after precipitation events in all tillage systems and precipitation appeared to increase survival [152]. In laboratory experiments, high salinity appeared to improve the growth of prostrate knotweed seedlings [130]. In garden experiments in Pennsylvania, a fungal rust caused the mortality of an entire seedling population [71].

Mature plants: One flora describes prostrate knotweed as "vigorous" [121]. In dense lawns of Bermuda grass, prostrate knotweed patches increased 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter in a growing season [1]. In garden experiments in Pennsylvania, prostrate knotweed had a higher survival rate in plots where it was planted with native species than where it was planted in monocultures (P<0.05) [71]. In the deserts of Death Valley National Monument, prostrate knotweed survival and reproduction was limited by precipitation and/or soil moisture [59].

  • 1. Al Saadawi, Ibrahim S. 1981. Allelopathic effects of Polygonum aviculare L. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma. 48 p. Dissertation. [79010]
  • 59. Forseth, I. N.; Ehleringer, J. R.; Werk, K. S.; Cook, C. S. 1984. Field water relations of Sonoran Desert annuals. Ecology. 65(5): 1436-1444. [77996]
  • 71. Hart, Robin. 1980. The coexistence of weeds and restricted native plants on serpentine barrens in southeastern Pennsylvania. Ecology. 61(3): 688-701. [78747]
  • 121. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 130. St. Arnaud, M.; Vincent, G. 1988. Infuence of high salt levels on the germination and growth of five potentially utilizable plants for median turfing in northern climates. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 6(4): 118-121. [77915]
  • 150. Uva, Richard H.; Neal, Joseph C.; DiTomaso, Joseph M., eds. 1997. Weeds of the Northeast. New York: Cornell University Press. 397 p. [72430]
  • 152. Verdu, Antoni M. C.; Mas, M. Teresa. 2004. Comparison of Polygonum aviculare L. seedling survival under different tillage systems in Mediterranean dryland agroecosystems. Acta Oecologica. 25(1-2): 119-127. [77940]

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Germination

More info for the term: pericarp

Prostrate knotweed seeds require moist-cold stratification for germination [9]. One source suggests that achenes produced in different seasons (summer and autumn) are fundamentally different in their dormancy and germination characteristics, but most studies do not specify which type of seed was tested. Personal observations of the authors suggested that the small, summer achenes have a strong primary dormancy and may constitute the persistent seed bank. These seeds must undergo a moist-cold stratification at 35 °F to 54 °F (1.6 °C-12 °C) for 12 to 110 days to break dormancy. In contrast, autumn achenes are larger, have a weak innate dormancy, and are capable of germinating immediately if exposed to temperatures of 70 °F to 80 °F ( 20-25 °C). If temperatures are lower, they germinate in the spring in a single flush at temperatures as low as 40 °F (5 °C). The authors suggested that most germination studies likely refer to summer seeds [32].

Temperature: Low winter temperatures release seed dormancy while high summer temperatures reinforce dormancy [9,10,11,34]. In laboratory experiments, prostrate knotweed seeds required a 40 °F (5 °C) treatment in the dark to germinate. Optimum germination (100%) was obtained after a 90-day cold-stratification at 40 °F (5 °C) [83].

Moisture: Prostrate knotweed seed germination is favored by moisture [11,28]. Laboratory germination tests showed that seeds exposed to low moisture had low germination (<5%) and showed no response to light treatments. Fluctuating soil moisture improved germination rates. Seeds exposed to constant moisture at 35 °F (1.6 °C) had low germination rates (<5%) while those exposed to fluctuating soil moisture had higher germination rates (approximately 40%). Fluctuations in soil moisture also improved germination rates of seeds kept in the dark, suggesting that such fluctuations may allow prostrate knotweed seeds to bypass the light requirement for germination in some situations. The authors suggested that deeply buried seeds would not be exposed to such moisture fluctuations [11].

Light: While some sources report that prostrate knotweed seeds require light to break dormancy [10,11], one study suggests that light is not required but improves germination rates. In laboratory germination tests in Kentucky, prostrate knotweed seeds exposed to several thermoperiods germinated from January to June, at rates of 70% to 90% for seeds exposed to light, and 1% to 26% for seeds kept in the dark [7].

Depth: Seed burial depth may influence germination rates, though results from experiments are not consistent. A review states that most seedlings emerge from the top 1 inch (3 cm) of soil and emergence declines with depth of burial [32]. In growth chamber experiments, shallow burial (<0.5 inches (1.25 cm) increased germination while deep burial (1 to 4 inches (2.5-10 cm)) decreased it [66]. In contrast, other laboratory experiments showed that germination rates were higher for prostrate knotweed seeds buried from 5.5 to 6 inches (14-15 cm) compared to those buried at depths ranging from 0 to 4 inches (0-10 cm). Dormancy was induced earlier for seeds closer to the soil surface than those buried at various depths beneath the soil. The authors suggested that dry conditions near the soil surface could induce dormancy [34].

Disturbance: Soil disturbance and scarification may improve germination rates. In field experiments using potted seeds in Ireland, germination began in late February, peaked in April, and ceased by the end of May. Soil disturbance in March increased seed germination (from 4% to 21%), though germination still ceased by the end of May. Soil disturbance at times other than late March or early April had no impact on seed germination, nor did it impact the timing of seedling emergence the following year. Mechanical or sulfuric acid removal of the pericarp increased germination rates [34].

Salinity: The impacts of salinity on germination are not clear. In laboratory experiments, exposure of prostrate knotweed seeds to highly saline conditions led to higher germination rates; germination rates were higher at electrical conductivities of 200 mS/m and 250 mS/m compared to electrical conductivities ranging from 0 to 150 mS/m (P=0.05) [130]. Other laboratory experiments also showed prostrate knotweed seeds to be moderately salt tolerant; the cumulative germination percentage of seeds decreased as salinity increased, though some seeds did germinate at the highest salinity (300 mM NaCl) [83]. In contrast, germination of seeds removed from saline soils in Ohio varied little in relation to soil salinity, and laboratory trials showed germination rates decreasing with increasing salinity [58].

  • 7. Baskin, J. M.; Baskin, Carol C. 1990. The role of light and alternating temperatures on germination of Polygonum aviculare seeds exhumed on various dates. Weed Research. 30(6): 397-402. [77914]
  • 9. Batlla, D.; Grundy, A.; Dent, K. C.; Clay, H. A.; Finch-Savage, W. E. 2009. A quantitative analysis of temperature-dependent dormancy changes in Polygonum aviculare seeds. Weed Research. 49(4): 428-438. [77878]
  • 10. Batlla, Diego; Benech-Arnold, Roberto Luis. 2005. Changes in the light sensitivity of buried Polygonum aviculare seeds in relation to cold-induced dormancy loss: development of a predictive model. New Phytologist. 165: 445-452. [64558]
  • 11. Batlla, Diego; Nicoletta, Marcelo; Benech-Arnold, Roberto. 2007. Sensitivity of Polygonum aviculare seeds to light as affected by soil moisture conditions. Annals of Botany. 99(5): 915-924. [77892]
  • 28. Comes, R. D.; Bruns, V. F.; Kelley, A. D. 1978. Longevity of certain weed and crop seeds in fresh water. Weed Science. 26(4): 336-344. [50697]
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 34. Courtney, A. D. 1968. Seed dormancy and field emergence in Polygonum aviculare. Journal of Applied Ecology. 5(3): 675-684. [77971]
  • 58. Foderaro, Margaret Angela. 1995. Effects of edaphic factors and competition on the demography, biomass production, and ionic content of Polygonum aviculare L. (Polygonaceae) at a saline site in southeastern Ohio. Athens, OH: Ohio University, Department of Environmental and Plant Biology. 99 p. Thesis. [79009]
  • 66. Grundy, A.; Mead, A. 1998. Modelling the effects of seed depth on seed seedling emergence. In: Champion, G. T.; Grundy, A. C.; Jones, N. E.; Marshall, E. J. E.; Froud-Williams, R. J., eds. Weed seedbanks: determination, dynamics and manipulation; 1998 March 23-24; Oxford, UK. Aspects of Applied Biology 51. Wellesbourne, UK: Association of Applied Biologists: 75-82. [79458]
  • 83. Khan, M. Ajmal; Ungar, Irwin A. 1998. Seed germination and dormancy of Polygonum aviculare L. as influenced by salinity, temperature, and gibberellic acid. Seed Science and Technology. 26(1): 107-117. [77891]
  • 130. St. Arnaud, M.; Vincent, G. 1988. Infuence of high salt levels on the germination and growth of five potentially utilizable plants for median turfing in northern climates. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 6(4): 118-121. [77915]

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Seed banking

More info for the term: density

Prostrate knotweed seeds form a persistent seed bank [32]. Some prostrate knotweed seeds (<1%) were viable after 19.7 years of burial in subarctic conditions near Fairbanks, Alaska. Seeds buried at shallower depths lost viability faster than those buried at greater depths; over the course of the study, the annual rate of viability decline was 40% for seeds buried at 1 inch (2 cm) and 29% for seeds buried at 6 inches (15 cm) [30]. From mine sites in the United Kingdom, prostrate knotweed seeds germinated from soil samples stored for 4 years, and germinated from samples taken from as deep as 7 feet (2 m) in the soil [43].

The density of prostrate knotweed seeds in the soil seed bank is variable, and may be high even in areas where prostrate knotweed does not occur in the extant vegetation. At saline sites in Ohio, the mean number of seeds found in 100 cm² of soil ranged from approximately 50 to 225 [58]. Seeds of prostrate knotweed were found at a low density (4.3 seeds/m²) in the seed bank of a forested woodlot in southern Ontario [21]. In northeastern Ohio, prostrate knotweed was not present in the extant vegetation but occurred in the soil seed bank (2,631.6 seeds/m²) of a highly saline saltpan [51]. In Argentina, prostrate knotweed was present in the soil seed bank of 2- to 4-year-old successional fields but was not present in the extant vegetation. It was a dominant species in nearby croplands [39].

  • 21. Brown, Doug. 1992. Estimating the composition of a forest seed bank: a comparison of the seed extraction and seedling emergence methods. Canadian Journal of Botany. 70(8): 1603-1612. [69376]
  • 30. Conn, Jeffrey S.; Beattie, Katherine L.; Blanchard, Arny. 2006. Seed viability and dormancy of 17 weed species after 19.7 years of burial in Alaska. Weed Science. 54: 464-470. [62639]
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 39. D'Angela, Evelina; Facelli, Jose M.; Jacobo, Elizabeth. 1988. The role of the permanent soil seed bank in early stages of a post-agricultural succession in the Inland Pampa, Argentina. Vegetatio. 74(1): 39-45. [78007]
  • 43. Dickie, J. B.; Gajjar, Kamini H.; Birch, P.; Harris, J. A. 1988. The survival of viable seeds in stored topsoil from opencast coal workings and its implications for site restoration. Biological Conservation. 43: 257-265. [16671]
  • 51. Egan, Todd P.; Ungar, Irwin A. 2000. Similarity between seed banks and above-ground vegetation along a salinity gradient. Journal of Vegetation Science. 11(2): 189-194. [78741]
  • 58. Foderaro, Margaret Angela. 1995. Effects of edaphic factors and competition on the demography, biomass production, and ionic content of Polygonum aviculare L. (Polygonaceae) at a saline site in southeastern Ohio. Athens, OH: Ohio University, Department of Environmental and Plant Biology. 99 p. Thesis. [79009]

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Seed production

A single prostrate knotweed plant may produce 125 to 6,400 achenes, depending on resource availability [32]. In Pennsylvania, early-season seed crops were greater than late-season seed crops, though some seeds were produced throughout the growing season [71]. In North Dakota, 2 prostrate knotweed plants collected in different years produced 4,600 seeds [136] and 6,380 seeds [135]. Growing conditions for collected plants were not described, though it was noted that the plants were of "average" size and free of "competition" from other plants [135,136]. In the deserts of Death Valley National Monument, prostrate knotweed reproduction was limited by lack of precipitation or soil moisture [59].
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 59. Forseth, I. N.; Ehleringer, J. R.; Werk, K. S.; Cook, C. S. 1984. Field water relations of Sonoran Desert annuals. Ecology. 65(5): 1436-1444. [77996]
  • 71. Hart, Robin. 1980. The coexistence of weeds and restricted native plants on serpentine barrens in southeastern Pennsylvania. Ecology. 61(3): 688-701. [78747]
  • 135. Stevens, O. A. 1932. The number and weight of seeds produced by weeds. American Journal of Botany. 19: 784-794. [47817]
  • 136. Stevens, O. A. 1957. Weights of seeds and numbers per plant. Weeds. 5: 46-55. [44071]

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Pollination and breeding system

More info for the term: presence

Prostrate knotweed flowers are hermaphroditic. Chasmogamous and cleistogamous flowers may occur on the same plant. Most sources suggest that prostrate knotweed self-pollinates, though the presence of chasmogamous flowers suggests that cross-pollination is possible. There are numerous reports of flower visitation by insects [32]. In the Sacramento Valley of California, representatives of more than 36 insect taxa were observed feeding on the nectar of prostrate knotweed. Because flowers are often at or near ground level, they attract both aerial and terrestrial insects [22].
  • 22. Bugg, Robert L.; Ehler, Lester E.; Wilson, L. Theodore. 1987. Effect of common knotweed (Polygonum aviculare) on abundance and efficiency of insect predators of crop pests. Hilgardia. 55(7):1-51. [77874]
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]

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Regeneration Processes

  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 113. Parker, Kittie F. 1982. An illustrated guide to Arizona weeds. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 338 p. [74217]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: therophyte

Raunkiaer [117] life form:
Therophyte
  • 117. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Fire Regime Table

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Vegetative regeneration

Prostrate knotweed does not reproduce vegetatively [32,113], though one flora describes it as "often rooting at the nodes" [155].
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 113. Parker, Kittie F. 1982. An illustrated guide to Arizona weeds. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 338 p. [74217]
  • 155. Wagner, Warren L.; Herbst, Derral R.; Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i. Revised edition: Volume 2. Bishop Museum Special Publication 97. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press; Bishop Museum Press. 929 p. [70168]

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Seed dispersal

Prostrate knotweed seeds are dispersed by birds, mammals, and water [32,157]. Its seeds may also be dispersed by vehicles [153] or other mechanical means. Prostrate knotweed seeds may contaminate crop seeds and be spread upon planting. They may be ingested and spread by livestock [32] or through the spreading of cow manure [111]. Prostrate knotweed seeds were found floating in irrigation water in Nebraska [163] and Washington [82].
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 82. Kelley, A. D.; Bruns, V. F. 1975. Dissemination of weed seeds by irrigation water. Weed Science. 23(6): 486-493. [78235]
  • 111. Mt. Pleasant, Jane; Schlather, Kenneth J. 1994. Incidence of weed seed in cow (Bos sp.) manure and its importance as a weed source for cropland. Weed Technology. 8(2): 304-310. [78031]
  • 153. von der Lippe, Moritz; Kowarik, Ingo. 2007. Long-distance dispersal of plants by vehicles as a driver of plant invasions. Conservation Biology. 21(4): 986-996. [78844]
  • 157. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 163. Wilson, R. G., Jr. 1980. Dissemination of weed seeds by surface irrigation water in western Nebraska. Weed Science. 28(1): 87-92. [78238]

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: genotype

The seasonal development of prostrate knotweed varies by both population and genotype [32,105]. In southern Canada, most prostrate knotweed seeds lose dormancy in March and April and germinate in a single flush between March and May [32]. In North America, prostrate knotweed flowers from March to November depending on location.

Flowering date of prostrate knotweed in locations throughout North America
Location Flowering date
Arizona March to October [113]
Great Plains June to October [65]
Illinois June to October [109]
Kentucky June to November [69]
New England June to September [98]
North and South Carolina May to November [116]
Texas May to November [44]
West Virginia June to October [138]

In southern Canada, prostrate knotweed plants produced seeds approximately 2 months after seedling emergence and produced both summer and autumn achenes [32]. In Pennsylvania, prostrate knotweed plants began producing seeds by late May and continued fruiting until killed by frost in the fall [71]. In north-central Arizona, prostrate knotweed produced seeds from early September to mid-November.

Prostrate knotweed plants are killed by frosts in the fall. A weed identification guide reports that clusters or mats of dead stems persist through the winter [150].

  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 44. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 65. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 69. Haragan, Patricia Dalton. 1991. Weeds of Kentucky and adjacent states: A field guide. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky. 278 p. [72646]
  • 71. Hart, Robin. 1980. The coexistence of weeds and restricted native plants on serpentine barrens in southeastern Pennsylvania. Ecology. 61(3): 688-701. [78747]
  • 98. Magee, Dennis W.; Ahles, Harry E. 2007. Flora of the Northeast: A manual of the vascular flora of New England and adjacent New York. 2nd ed. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. 1214 p. [74293]
  • 105. Meerts, Pierre. 1992. An experimental investigation of life history and plasticity in two cytotypes of Polygonum aviculare L. subsp. aviculare that coexist in an abandoned arable field. Oecologia. 92(3): 442-449. [77970]
  • 113. Parker, Kittie F. 1982. An illustrated guide to Arizona weeds. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 338 p. [74217]
  • 116. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 138. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 150. Uva, Richard H.; Neal, Joseph C.; DiTomaso, Joseph M., eds. 1997. Weeds of the Northeast. New York: Cornell University Press. 397 p. [72430]
  • 109. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]

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Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per.: March-September.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Polygonum aviculare

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Polygonum aviculare

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 20
Specimens with Barcodes: 43
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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Information on state-level noxious weed status of plants in the United States is available at Plants Database.

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Management

Impacts and Control

More info for the terms: cover, density, fire management, invasive species, natural, prescribed fire, shrubs

Impacts: Most reported impacts of prostrate knotweed are related to its establishment in crop fields [123]. Prostrate knotweed is problematic in >60 crop species worldwide. Its density in agricultural fields was as high as 28.3 plants/m², as was recorded in a barley field in Alberta. Prostrate knotweed establishment reduces yield for some crops. Its stems may inhibit the mechanical harvest of other crops (e.g., onions, carrots) (review by [32]) and may act as an alternate host for crop pathogens [123]. Prostrate knotweed is also considered a nuisance in lawns, sidewalks, and paved areas (review by [32]).

Prostrate knotweed's impact on native plant communities is not well documented. A weed information guide suggests that dense mats of prostrate knotweed may smother herbaceous species and small shrubs [157]. Prostrate knotweed also has allelopathic qualities (review by [32]). In laboratory tests, soil collected from under prostrate knotweed inhibited the growth of several plant species, including Bermuda grass, Madagascar dropseed (Sporobolus pyramidatus), lambsquarters, sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), and Creole cotton (Gossypium barbadense). The soil used in this study was collected 4 months after prostrate knotweed plants died in the fall, suggesting that toxins may persist in the soil. Prostrate knotweed aboveground parts, roots, and root exudates also inhibited germination and growth of several crop and nonnative plant species [1].

Control: In all cases where invasive species are targeted for control, no matter what method is employed, the potential for other invasive species to fill their void must be considered [20]. Control of biotic invasions is most effective when it employs a long-term, ecosystem-wide strategy rather than a tactical approach focused on battling individual invaders [97].

Fire: For information on the use of prescribed fire to control this species, see Fire Management Considerations.

Prevention: It is commonly argued that the most cost-efficient and effective method of managing invasive species is to prevent their establishment and spread by maintaining "healthy" natural communities [97,127] (e.g., avoid road building in wildlands [145]) and by monitoring several times each year [76]. Managing to maintain the integrity of the native plant community and mitigate the factors enhancing ecosystem invasibility is likely to be more effective than managing solely to control the invader [74].

Weed prevention and control can be incorporated into many types of management plans, including those for logging and site preparation, grazing allotments, recreation management, research projects, road building and maintenance, and fire management [146]. See the Guide to noxious weed prevention practices [146] for specific guidelines in preventing the spread of weed seeds and propagules under different management conditions.

Cultural control: Laboratory studies report that extracts from some cover crops, including rye (Secale cereale) and brown mustard (Brassica juncea), reduced germination of prostrate knotweed seeds and rootlet and shoot length of prostrate knotweed seedlings [52].

Physical or mechanical control: Mechanical control methods alone are usually not effective at controlling prostrate knotweed, but integration with other control methods (e.g., chemical) may improve treatment effectiveness. Soil solarization controlled prostrate knotweed in some areas (review by [32]). In interior Alaska, roadside prostrate knotweed seedlings establishing 2 years after fire were manually pulled in approximately 15 minutes. The following year, no prostrate knotweed seedlings were observed [31]. To prevent seed dispersal, a weed information guide suggests cutting plants prior to seed set [157] (e.g., late May in Pennsylvania [71]).

Prostrate knotweed's low stature makes mowing treatments largely ineffective [154]. Bark mulching favored prostrate knotweed in apple orchards (review by [32]). Flaming and hot-steaming did not control prostrate knotweed in Nova Scotia and Slovakia (Rifai and others 2001 as cited in [32])

Biological control: As of this writing (2010) no biological control agent has been identified to control prostrate knotweed. In North America, prostrate knotweed hosts several insects, nematodes, fungi, and viruses (review by [32]). In garden experiments in Pennsylvania, a fungal rust killed all prostrate knotweed seedlings. Seedlings emerging the following year also died, and the entire prostrate knotweed population was killed [71].

Biological control of invasive species has a long history that indicates many factors must be considered before using biological controls. Refer to these sources: [151,162] and the Weed control methods handbook [144] for background information and important considerations for developing and implementing biological control programs.

Chemical control: Both pre- and postemergent herbicides are effective at controlling prostrate knotweed (review by [32]), though a flora reports that prostrate knotweed resists herbicides [44]. The effectiveness of chemical control decreased with time in one cropping system experiment [175]. In commercial agricultural fields in California, exposure to several soil fumigants reduced the percentage of viable prostrate knotweed seeds. In areas exposed to the fumigant, 2.7% of seeds were viable, compared to 36.4% viability in areas not exposed to the fumigant [67].

Herbicides are effective in gaining initial control of a new invasion or a severe infestation, but they are rarely a complete or long-term solution to weed management [23]. See the Weed control methods handbook [144] for considerations on the use of herbicides in natural areas and detailed information on specific chemicals.

Integrated management: No information is available on this topic.

  • 154. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 1. Al Saadawi, Ibrahim S. 1981. Allelopathic effects of Polygonum aviculare L. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma. 48 p. Dissertation. [79010]
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 44. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 71. Hart, Robin. 1980. The coexistence of weeds and restricted native plants on serpentine barrens in southeastern Pennsylvania. Ecology. 61(3): 688-701. [78747]
  • 123. Royer, France; Dickinson, Richard. 1999. Weeds of the northern U.S. and Canada: a guide for identification. Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta Press; Renton, WA: Lone Pine Publishing. 434 p. [52727]
  • 157. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 23. Bussan, Alvin J.; Dyer, William E. 1999. Herbicides and rangeland. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 116-132. [35716]
  • 162. Wilson, Linda M.; McCaffrey, Joseph P. 1999. Biological control of noxious rangeland weeds. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 97-115. [35715]
  • 20. Brooks, Matthew L.; Pyke, David A. 2001. Invasive plants and fire in the deserts of North America. In: Galley, Krista E. M.; Wilson, Tyrone P., eds. Proceedings of the invasive species workshop: The role of fire in the control and spread of invasive species; Fire conference 2000: 1st national congress on fire ecology, prevention, and management; 2000 November 27 - December 1; San Diego, CA. Misc. Publ. No. 11. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 1-14. [40491]
  • 52. Ercoli, L.; Masoni, A.; Pampana, S.; Arduini, I. 2007. Allelopathic effects of rye, brown mustard and hairy vetch on redroot pigweed, common lambsquarter and knotweed. Allelopathy Journal. 19(1): 249-256. [77880]
  • 67. Haar, M. J.; Fennimore, S. A.; Ajwa, H. A.; Winterbottom, C. Q. 2003. Chloropicrin effect on weed seed viability. Crop Protection. 22(1): 109-115. [77908]
  • 74. Hobbs, Richard J.; Humphries, Stella E. 1995. An integrated approach to the ecology and management of plant invasions. Conservation Biology. 9(4): 761-770. [44463]
  • 76. Johnson, Douglas E. 1999. Surveying, mapping, and monitoring noxious weeds on rangelands. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 19-36. [35707]
  • 97. Mack, Richard N.; Simberloff, Daniel; Lonsdale, W. Mark; Evans, Harry; Clout, Michael; Bazzaz, Fakhri A. 2000. Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecological Applications. 10(3): 689-710. [48324]
  • 127. Sheley, Roger; Manoukian, Mark; Marks, Gerald. 1999. Preventing noxious weed invasion. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 69-72. [35711]
  • 144. Tu, Mandy; Hurd, Callie; Randall, John M., eds. 2001. Weed control methods handbook: tools and techniques for use in natural areas. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy. 194 p. [37787]
  • 145. Tyser, Robin W.; Worley, Christopher A. 1992. Alien flora in grasslands adjacent to road and trail corridors in Glacier National Park, Montana (U.S.A.). Conservation Biology. 6(2): 253-262. [19435]
  • 175. Zengin, Huseyin. 2001. Changes in weed response to 2,4-D application with 5 repeated applications in spring wheat. Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. 25(1): 31-36. [44450]
  • 31. Cortes-Burns, Helen; Lapina, Irina; Klein, Susan; Carlson, Matthew; Flagstad, Lindsey. 2008. Invasive plant species monitoring and control: Areas impacted by 2004 and 2005 fires in interior Alaska--A survey of Alaska BLM lands along the Dalton, Steese, and Taylor Highways. BLM-BAER Final Report. Anchorage, AK: University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Natural Heritage Program; Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office. 162 p. Available online: http://aknhp.uaa.alaska.edu/botany/pdfs/2008/CortesLapinaKleinCarlsonFlagstadBLM_BAER_Report2008.pdf [2010, May 19] [2010, May 19]. [79576]
  • 146. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2001. Guide to noxious weed prevention practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf [2009, November 19]. [37889]
  • 151. Van Driesche, Roy; Lyon, Suzanne; Blossey, Bernd; Hoddle, Mark; Reardon, Richard, tech. coords. 2002. Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States. Publication FHTET-2002-04. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. 413 p. Available online: http://www.invasive.org/eastern/biocontrol/index.html [2009, November 19]. [54194]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the terms: cover, tree

Prostrate knotweed is consumed by a variety of wildlife species as well as some livestock. However, in Australia, the death of several horses from nitrite toxicity was attributed to eating prostrate knotweed [85].

Palatability and/or nutritional value: Prostrate knotweed seeds are consumed by birds [32,138] including the American coot [14], mallard, killdeer [41], rock dove [114], sharp-tailed grouse [140], California quail [36], and American tree sparrow [12]. Leaves may be consumed by birds [138] such as the sharp-tailed grouse [140]. Small mammals may also consume parts of prostrate knotweed [101]. One black-tailed prairie dog stomach contained >20,000 prostrate knotweed seeds [86]. Eastern cottontails consumed prostrate knotweed in Missouri [87]. Prostrate knotweed is browsed by mule deer [38,75] and pronghorn [161,173]. Insects feed on the seeds [101] and nectar [22].

In Australia, prostrate knotweed is used as a fodder plant for pigs (review by [32]). Free-ranging domestic cattle consumed prostrate knotweed while foraging in ponderosa pine forests in central Colorado [38]. Domestic geese did not feed on prostrate knotweed in feeding trials, even when it was the only food available [170].

Cover value: No information is available on this topic.

  • 14. Bogiatto, Raymond J., II. 1990. Fall and winter food habits of American coots in the northern Sacramento Valley, California. California Fish and Game. 76(4): 211-215. [25182]
  • 22. Bugg, Robert L.; Ehler, Lester E.; Wilson, L. Theodore. 1987. Effect of common knotweed (Polygonum aviculare) on abundance and efficiency of insect predators of crop pests. Hilgardia. 55(7):1-51. [77874]
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 36. Crispens, Charles G., Jr.; Buss, Irven O.; Yocom, Charles F. 1960. Food habits of the California quail in eastern Washington. The Condor. 62(6): 473-477. [55289]
  • 38. Currie, P. O.; Reichert, D. W.; Malechek, J. C.; Wallmo, O. C. 1977. Forage selection comparisons for mule deer and cattle under managed ponderosa pine. Journal of Range Management. 30(5): 352-356. [4697]
  • 138. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 161. Wentland, Harold James. 1968. Summer range habits of the pronghorn antelope in central Montana with special reference to proposed sagebrush control study plots. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 65 p. Thesis. [43984]
  • 12. Baumgartner, A. Marguerite. 1937. Food and feeding habits of the tree sparrow. The Wilson Bulletin. 49(2): 65-80. [78742]
  • 41. deVlaming, Victor; Proctor, Vernon W. 1968. Dispersal of aquatic organisms: viability of seeds recovered from the droppings of captive killdeer and mallard ducks. American Journal of Botany. 55(1): 20-26. [78240]
  • 75. Hungerford, C. R. 1970. Response of Kaibab mule deer to management of summer range. Journal of Wildlife Management. 34(40): 852-862. [1219]
  • 85. Knight, P. R. 1979. Suspected nitrite toxicity in horses associated with the ingestion of wireweed (Polygonum aviculare). Australian Veterinary Practitioner. 9(3): 175-177. [77928]
  • 86. Koford, Carl B. 1958. Prairie dogs, whitefaces, and blue grama. Wildlife Monographs No. 3. Washington, DC: The Wildlife Society. 78 p. [4077]
  • 87. Korschgen, Leroy J. 1980. Food and nutrition of cottontail rabbits in Missouri. Terrestrial Series #6. Jefferson City, MO: Missouri Department of Conservation. 16 p. [25171]
  • 101. Mauchline, A. L.; Watson, S. J.; Brown, V. K.; Froud-Williams, R. J. 2005. Post-dispersal seed predation of non-target weeds in arable crops. Weed Research. 45(2): 157-164. [77904]
  • 114. Pierson, Thomas A.; Cobb, Robert G.; Scanlon, Patrick, F. 1976. Crop contents of rock doves in Virginia. The Wilson Bulletin. 88(3): 489-490. [77980]
  • 140. Swenk, Myron H.; Selko, Lyle F. 1938. Late autumn food of the sharp-tailed grouse in western Nebraska. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 2(4): 184-189. [78102]
  • 170. Wurtz, Tricia L. 1995. Domestic geese: biological weed control in an agricultural setting. Ecological Applications. 5(3): 570-578. [77947]
  • 173. Yoakum, Jim. 1980. Habitat management guides for the American pronghorn antelope. Tech. Note 347. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Denver Service Center. 77 p. [23170]

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Other uses and values

Prostrate knotweed is reported to have many medicinal uses, including the treatment of gingivitis, cardiovascular conditions, infections, and immunity disorders (review by [32]). Prostrate knotweed tea has been used to treat asthma [44] and diarrhea [70]. One source reports that exposure to prostrate knotweed may cause dermatitis [78]. According to English medieval superstition, an infusion of prostrate knotweed stems and leaves could stunt the growth of young boys or animals. Such properties were recognized by Shakespeare, who referred to "knot-grass" in A Midsummer Night's Dream: "Get you gone, you dwarf;/You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made" (review by [32]).

Prostrate knotweed seeds are edible to humans, either whole or ground into flour [70,98]. In China, people eat young prostrate knotweed shoots and leaves and drink prostrate knotweed tea (review by [32]).

Prostrate knotweed has been used in phytoremediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals [24] or crude oil [110]. It may also be used in erosion control (review by [32]). In China, parts of prostrate knotweed are used as an insecticide to control the pear leaf weevil (Rhynchites coreanus) and to treat maggots and roundworms in pigs [171]. Prostrate knotweed is a valued honey plant in Greece [45] and Australia. In China, flowering stems are used as a textile dye (review by [32]).

  • 24. Chehregani, Abdolkarim; Noori, Mitra; Yazdi, Hossein Lari. 2009. Phytoremediation of heavy-metal-polluted soils: screening for new accumulator plants in Angouran mine (Iran) and evaluation of removal ability. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 72(5): 1349-1353. [77930]
  • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
  • 44. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 70. Harrington, H. D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: The Swallow Press. 666 p. [6851]
  • 98. Magee, Dennis W.; Ahles, Harry E. 2007. Flora of the Northeast: A manual of the vascular flora of New England and adjacent New York. 2nd ed. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. 1214 p. [74293]
  • 110. Mohsenzadeh, Fariba; Naseri, Simin; Mesdaghinia, Alireza; Nabizadeh, Ramin; Chehregani, Abdolkarim; Zafari, Doustmorad. 2009. Identification of petroleum resistant plants and rhizospheral fungi for phytoremediation of petroleum contaminated soils. Journal of the Japan Petroleum Institute. 52(4): 198-204. [77877]
  • 45. Dimou, Maria; Thrasyvoulou, Andreas. 2007. Seasonal variation in vegetation and pollen collected by honeybees in Thessaloniki, Greece. Grana. 46(4): 292-299. [77934]
  • 78. Johnston, A.; Smoliak, S. 1965. Plants of the Prairie Provinces poisonous or injurious to humans. Lethbridge, AB: Canadian Department of Agriculture, Research Station. 13 p. [38821]
  • 171. Yang, R. Z.; Tang, C. S. 1988. Plants used for pest control in China: a literature review. Economic Botany. 42(3): 376-406. [71936]

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Wikipedia

Polygonum aviculare

Polygonum aviculare or common knotgrass is a plant related to buckwheat and dock. It is also called birdweed, pigweed and lowgrass. It is an annual found in fields and wasteland, with white flowers from June to October.

Description[edit]

Common knotgrass is an annual herb with a semi-erect stem that may grow to 10 to 40 cm (4 to 16 in) high. The leaves are hairless and short-stalked. They are longish-elliptical with short stalks and rounded bases; the upper ones are few and are linear and stalkless. The stipules are fused into a stem-enclosing, translucent sheath known as an ochrea that is membranous and silvery. The flowers are regular, green with white or pink margins. Each has five perianth segments, overlapping at the base, five to eight stamens and three fused carpels. The fruit is a dark brown, three-edged nut. The seeds need light to germinate which is why this plant appears in disturbed soil in locations where its seeds may have lain dormant for years.[1]

Chemistry[edit]

P. aviculare contains the flavonols avicularin, myricitrin, juglanin,[2] astragalin, betmidin and the lignan aviculin.[3]

Herbalism and folklore[edit]

Nicholas Culpeper states that the plant is ruled astrologically by Saturn and Capricorn. He also recommended knotweed to cure the spitting of blood. Modern herbalists use it to treat dysentery, excessive menstrual flow, lung disorders, bronchitis and jaundice, and gall and kidney stones.[citation needed] Not all of these uses are supported by scientific evidence. The plant is an astringent, coagulant, diuretic and expectorant.[citation needed]

Cuisine[edit]

In Vietnam, where it is called rau đắng, it is widely used to prepare soup and hot pot, particularly in the South region.

Subspecies[edit]

This plant has a wide distribution as an arable weed and plant of fields, shingle, sand, roadsides, yards and waste places. There is much morphological variations among different populations and several different sub-species are recognized:[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Knotgrass: Polygonum aviculare". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  2. ^ LC Method for Analysis of Three Flavonols in Rat Plasma and Urine after Oral Administration of Polygonum aviculare Extract. Fuquan Xu, Huashi Guan, Guoqiang Li and Hongbing Liu, Chromatographia, June 2009, Volume 69, Issue 11-12, pages 1251-1258, doi:10.1365/s10337-009-1088-x
  3. ^ A Novel Lignan and Flavonoids from Polygonum aviculare. Hyoung Ja Kim, Eun-Rhan Woo and Hokoon Park, J. Nat. Prod., 1994, 57 (5), pages 581–586, doi:10.1021/np50107a003
  • Howard, Michael. Traditional Folk Remedies, (Century, 1987); p. 162.
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Notes

Comments

Polygonum aviculare is a taxonomically controversial polyploid complex of selfing annuals. Although members of the complex have been considered inbreeders, they possess some structures that make cross pollination possible. Cleistogamous and chasmogamous flowers, heterostyly, protandry, and the capacity to secrete nectar suggest an ancestral mixed-mating system. Isoenzyme studies showed that the complex has an allopolyploid origin (P. Meerts et al. 1998) and has evolved as a swarm of inbreeding lines (“Jordanons”) (J. Gasquez et al. 1978). The six subspecies included here have been treated variously (T. Karlsson 2000; M. Costea and F. J. Tardif 2003). Complex intergradation patterns among them make their recognition at the species level impractical. Multivariate analysis and isoenzyme studies show that populations with intermediate characteristics may occur (Meerts et al. 1990, 1998). Except for subsp. boreale, which occurs in Greenland and Labrador, all subspecies are partially sympatric and their distributions have been influenced greatly by humans.
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Comments

A cosmopolitan weed, usually number of sagregates from this highly variable taxon have been described as independent species on the basis of habit, heterophyllous and isophyllous leaves and the length of perianth tube. However, if large number of specimens are studied, the characters often break down in our region. We have presently maintained three species P. aviculare, P. arenastrum and P. olivascens on basis of habit and characters of leaves and nuts. Sometimes some intermediate are also found between P. aviculare and P. arenastrum. Experimental studies are needed to solve the problem.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: This treatment of Polygonum aviculare includes two taxa that Kartesz 1999 treats as distinct species, including P. buxifome and P. bellardii. The treatment used by Costea and Tardif (2003) recognize the following subspecies in P. aviculare: P. aviculare ssp. aviculare, P. aviculare ssp. buxiforme, P. aviculare ssp. boreale, P. aviculare ssp. rurivagum, P. aviculare ssp. neglectum and P. aviculare ssp. depressum. All of the subspecies mentioned except P. aviculare ssp. buxiforme, Kartesz 1999 places in P. bellardii. Note that this is also the Flora of North America (2005) treatment.

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Comments: Taxonomically controversial. This (Kartesz 1994 and 1999) treatment is of Polygonum aviculare in a narrow sense, excluding material often treated as subspecies of P. aviculare, such as P. aviculare ssp. buxiforme (native to North America) and ssp. boreale, both here treated as distinct species. Following this treatment, this taxon is wholly exotic to North America. This concept does not appear to match FNA's (2005, vol. 5) treatment of the typical subspecies (ssp. aviculare).

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  • The scientific name of prostrate knotweed is Polygonum aviculare L. (Polygonaceae) [57,80]. The Flora of North America recognizes 6 subspecies:

    Polygonum aviculare subsp. aviculare

    Polygonum aviculare subsp. boreale (Lange) Karlsson

    Polygonum aviculare subsp. buxiforme (Small) Costea & Tardif

    Polygonum aviculare subsp. depressum (Meisner) Arcangeli

    Polygonum aviculare subsp. neglectum (Besser) Arcangeli

    Polygonum aviculare subsp. rurivagum (Jordan ex Boreau) Berher [57]


  • Except for Polygonum aviculare subsp. boreale, the subspecies listed above
    overlap in distribution and exhibit complex intergradation, resulting in populations with
    intermediate characteristics [57]. Because identification at the
    subspecies level is difficult, and sources either rarely report subspecies or identification may
    be suspect, this review synthesizes information about prostrate knotweed at the species level.
    For a review of the taxonomic issues of the prostrate knotweed complex, see [32].
    • 32. Costea, Mihai; Tardif, Francois J. 2005. The biology of Canadian weeds. 131. Polygonum aviculare L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 85(2): 481-506. [77905]
    • 57. Flora of North America Association. 2010. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
    • 80. Kartesz, John T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 1st ed. In: Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina Botanical Garden (Producer). In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. [36715]

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    Common Names

    prostrate knotweed

    doorweed

    knotgrass

    wiregrass

    yard knotweed

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