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Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) is an herbaceous, perennial plant in the Asteracae family with purple flowers. This plant is native to Central Asia and is considered a serious invasive species, especially in rangelands, fields, and roadsides of the western United States. Spotted knapweed has been in North America for over 120 years. Close relatives that are also invasive include Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens), diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa) and meadow knapweed (Centaurea pratensis). Studies show that infestations of spotted knapweed decrease plant diversity and increase both surface water runoff and soil sedimentation. Spotted knapweed is allelopathic, which means that it produces a substance that may inhibit the growth of nearby plants. Spotted knapweed is especially problematic on rangeland because large infestations can significantly reduce livestock forage. ...

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