Douglas County Conservation District

SERVING LANDOWNERS IN DOUGLAS COUNTY COLORADO FOR OVER 56 YEARS

     PO BOX 688, 7519A E HWY 86, FRANKTOWN, CO 80116   303-218-2622   DCCDistrict@gmail.com

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Russian Knapweed
Centaurea repens

A perennial, forming dense colonies by shoots from widely spreading black roots.  Stems are erect, openly branched, 18 to 36 inches tall.  Lower leaves are deeply lobed, 2 to 4 inches long; upper leaves entire or serrate, narrow to the base.  Cone-shaped flowering heads are 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, solitary at the tip of leafy branchlets.  Flowers are pink to lavender.  Many pearly bracts form with rounded or acute papery margins.

Leaves of newly emerging plants (pictured above) are toothed and covered with fine hair, giving them a blue-green color.

This species forms colonies in cultivated fields, orchards, pastures, and roadsides.  Russian knapweed plants spread by black, deep growing roots which penetrate to a depth of over 8 feet.  Flowering occurs from June to September.