Polygonum aviculare L.
common knotweed (prostrate knotweed)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #25198)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Polygonum aviculare
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Annual herb from a taproot stems prostrate to erect, several, branched, ridged, 10-100 cm tall/long.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves alternate, widely linear to lanceolate-oblong, mostly bluish-green, the blades 1-3 cm long, slightly reduced upwards, the stalks short, jointed; branch leaves smaller than stem leaves; sheathing stipules brown, ragged, 3-6 mm long.
Inflorescence of 1-3 axillary flowers; perianths 2-3 mm long, greenish with white or pink to red margins, 5-lobed more than 1/2 the distance to the base.
Achenes, 3-angled, dark brown, obscurely lined lengthwise, pimply, 2.8-3.5 mm long, included to slightly exserted.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Polygonum aviculare

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
1034 916 1293
Slope Gradient (%)
16 0 58

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

118 90 225
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

ICH(1), IDF(3)

Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry disturbed sites, roadsides and waste places; common in S BC, less frequent northward; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Polygonum aviculare var. angustissimum Meisn.
Polygonum aviculare var. vegetum Ledeb.
Polygonum heterophyllum Lindl.
Polygonum monspeliense Pers.
Polygonum neglectum Besser
Polygonum provinciale K. Koch
Polygonum rurivagum Jord. ex Boreau