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Russian Knapweed
Photo Credit: Colorado State University Weed Science, modified from the original

Common Name: Russian Knapweed

Scientific Name: Rhaponticum repens

Habitat: roadsides, disturbed areas, farmland, grassland

Provincial Designation: Prohibited Noxious

Prohibited Noxious weeds are plant species that are designated as "prohibited noxious" in theAlberta weed regulation. Prohibited noxious weeds must be destroyed, meaning all growing parts need to be killed or the plant's reproductive mechanisms need to be rendered non-viable.


Russian Knapweed is native to Eastern Europe and Asia and in the early 1900s it was introduced to North America as a contaminant in alfalfa seed.

Legislated Because

This species is a serious concern on rangeland and pastures where it can out-compete desired plants and reduce biodiversity. It is also very toxic to horses.


This purple flowering knapweed has bracts that have a papery, almost translucent tip.

The leaves gradually become smaller up the plant, are grey-green in colour and usually have shallowly lobed edges.

Learn more about this species:

See Fact Sheets - Alberta Invasive Species Council

For More Information

Weed Identification


In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311


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