Polygonum aviculare

Scientific Name Polygonum aviculare L.
Common Names English: Prostrate knotweed; German: Vogelknöterich; French: Renouée des oiseaux; Spanish: Centinodia
Description Annual, seed-propagated weed with spindle-shaped root. Depending on location P. aviculare is extremely various in habit and leaf form.

Descriptions

Characteristic Features

Prostrate growth, mostly branching from base, small leaves.

Cotyledons

Very long, evenly slender, bluntly pointed.

Stems

Usually prostrate, heavily ramified, leaves at the nodes up to the tip, up to 50 cm (19.5 inch) long.

Leaves

Elliptical or lanceolate to linear, pinnate-nerved, hardly petiolate, emerging from a thin, membranous, stalk-enclosing, incised tube (stipule sheath).

Propagation Organs

Flowers

Small, short-pedunculate, pink or greenish-white, in groups of 2-5 in the axils.

Flowering Period

Summer - autumn.

Fruit

Nutlet with 3 more or less equal flat or concave faces, 2-3 mm (0.078 - 0.118 inch) long, dark brown to black, minutely roughened.

Seeds

Germination from spring - late summer. The seeds are triangular, mostly with parts of the perianth and dark brown. P. aviculare is a shallow germinator and dependent on sufficient light for normal development.

Viability of Seeds

>50 years.

Propagation

By seed. 125-200 seeds/plant.

Occurrence

Habitat

Sandy, gravelly, or rocky coastal areas, grassland, disturbed soils of waste areas, roadsides and gardens.

Soil

Undemanding, Prostrate knotweed will tolerate almost all soils.

Additional Crop Information

Spring cereals.

Agricultural Importance

P. aviculare is a competitive weed since it often occurs in high densities and indicates soil compaction. It is less sensitive to herbicides typically applied in corn. Seed production rate is high. Prostrate knotweed also is a very troublesome weed in turf.

Control

Useful non-chemical contribution to Integrated Weed Management

Polygonum aviculare requires light for growth, consequently dense, early seeded and rapidly growing crops suppress this weed effectively.

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