Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Acroptilon repens - Russian Knapweed


Status: Exotic [E-flora]


"Severe poisoning in farm animals occurs when animals are fed hay containing small amounts of the herb, but toxicity has only been observed when plants are in flower; plants mowed before flowering do not seem to be poisonous (Ogolevitz 1951 ) . The plant causes a nervous system disease and neural cell necrosis when consumed by horses." [Eisenman MPCA]

"A water infusion of the herb is used to treat malaria, epilepsy, and other diseases. The root of the herb is used as an emetic (Khalmatov 1964 ) . In the folk medicine of Central Asia, Azerbaijan, and Crimea, a water infusion of the plant is used to treat malaria, and in Azerbaijan for treatment of epilepsy. Because this plant is poisonous, internal use of this species must be done with caution (Makhlayuk 1992 )" [Eisenman MPCA]


"The plant contains traces of saponins, tannins and bitter substances, 4 % glycoalkaloids, 0.06 % essential oils and sesquiterpene lactones (Ogolevitz 1951 ; Stevens et al. 1990 ) . The main constituent of volatile oil isolated from the aboveground parts was caryophyllene oxide (36.6 %; Norouzi-Arasi et al. 2006 ) ." [Eisenman MPCA]

"Volatile oil isolated from the aboveground parts strongly inhibited the growth of the bacteria Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Staphylococcus epidermidis (Norouzi-Arasi et al. 2006 ) " [Eisenman MPCA]

Cultivation & Propagation

"Subsequently, the native nematode Paranguina picridis, which produces galls on and causes stunting of Russian knapweed, Acroptilon repens, "in southern USSR, was also investigated as an in undative agent. When aqueous suspensions of the nematode were sprayed on fields infested by the weed, 50% of the plants were either destroyed or seriously damaged (lvanova 1966)." [Holzner BEW]

"Phytotoxic chemicals have recently been identified in the root exudates of C. diffusa (Vivanco et al. 2004), and in root exudates of the closely related knapweeds C. maculosa (Bais et al. 2002), and Acroptilon repens (formerly Centaurea repens) (Stermitz et al. 2003), strengthening the hypothesis put forth by Callaway and Aschehoug (2000) that chemical-based interactions may play a role in invasion ecology." [Zeng ASA]

Acroptilon Sp.

"Acriptilon is a monotypic genus native to eastern Europe and adjacent areas in Asia. Zheng et al. (1990a) reported apigenin 5-0-glucoside from A. repens (cited as Centaurea repens; generic referral from Dostal, 1976)." [Bohm FSF]


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