Spotted knapweed is a non-native, noxious and invasive non-creeping perennial that reproduces solely from seed. One plant can produce up to 4,000 seeds per square foot each year (Spotted knapweed plants can each live for up to nine years). Each of those seeds can be viable in the soil for up to eight years. Most seeds germinate in the general proximity of the parent plant but they can also be carried quite far by humans/vehicles, wildlife, and livestock.
Spotted knapweed should be controlled because it easily invades a wide variety of habitats. Its deep taproots allow it to utilize nutrients and moisture so it can spread quickly. It easily outcompetes native vegetation which drastically reduces forage potential for native wildlife and livestock.
View an educational video featuring New Mexico State University’s Extension Weed Specialist Dr. Leslie Beck! This video is specific to Spotted and Diffuse knapweeds in Taos County and was the result of a collaboration between Taos Soil & Water Conservation District and New Mexico State University.