Wild Notes Winter 2011 edition

Winter 2011

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Cosmo the flying squirrel


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Weed It & Reap: Have You Seen This Weed?
Spotted Knapweed

Text and illustration by Jessica Sprajcar
Conservation Program Manager, Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

Spotted Knapweed flowers can quickly dominate a landscape.
(Photo: Norman Rees, USDA)

Last Seen:  This native of Eurasia is now spreading through farm fields and along roadsides in all states except those in the southeast and south-central parts of the U.S.

Aliases: Centaurea stoebe, Centaurea biebersteinii, Centaurea maculosa

Description: A rosette of leaves forms close to the ground during its first year. In subsequent years, this two to three feet tall plant forms thistle-like pink to purplish flowers that bloom from July through early fall.

If yon spot this plant, don't take a nap... A thick root structure and abundant seeds that can remain viable in the soil for up to seven years make knapweed a formidable plant to deal with.  Populations can spread quickly, so don't let it grow out of control.  To learn how to combat this invader, go to http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/cest1.htm.


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Pennsylvania Wild Resource Program