E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #64157)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Polygonum aviculare
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

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

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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) 916 1034 1293
Slope Gradient (%) 0 16 58
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
90 118 225
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 5 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number 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)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Polygonum aviculare var. angustissimum Meisn.
Polygonum aviculare var. vegetum Ledeb.
Polygonum heterophyllum Lindl.
Polygonum monspeliense Pers.
Polygonum provinciale K. Koch

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References