Russian knapweed
Rhaponticum repens (L.) Hidalgo


Rhaponticum repens is a perennial forb that can grow to 3 ft. (1 m) in height. Stems originate from a basal rosette of leaves. The rosette leaves can be unlobed to very lobed and are 2-4 in. (5-10 cm) long.
Stem leaves are oblong, pinnately lobed to entire and up to 6 in. (15.2 cm) in length at the base of the stem and become smaller and less lobed toward the top.
In summer to fall Rhaponticum repens produces flowers that are pink to purple and turn straw colored as they mature. The flower heads are approximately 0.5 in (1.2 cm) in diameter and urn shaped.
Fruits (achenes) are ivory-colored with a tuft of hair that falls off at maturity.
Ecological Threat
Rhaponticum repens is native to Eurasia and was introduced into the United States in the early 1900’s. This species can cause chewing disease in horses.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Rhaponticum
Subject: Rhaponticum repens (L.) Hidalgo

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:

Related Scientific Names:
Acroptilon repens (L.) DC. (Synonym)
Centaurea picris (L.) DC. (Synonym)
Centaurea repens (L.) DC. (Synonym)


Plants - Forbs/Herbs


Common Name Reference:

Scientific Name Reference: