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Tyrol knapweed

Tyrol knapweed
(Centaurea nigrescens)

Perennial knapweed with lavender flowers and fringed bracts that are long and slender with dark brown tips.


Regulated areas of Tyrol knapweed
This species is Restricted (Orange counties)

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: vochin knapweed, alpine knapweed, wocheiner knapweed, and short-fringed knapweed
  • Scientific names: Centaures vochinensis, C. dubia

Ecological threat:

  • Invades open grasslands, prairies, open forests, orchards, cultivated fields, field edges, and travel corridors.
  • Aggressively outcompetes desired vegetation, reducing overall biodiversity and forage quality.
  • Plants are easily spread by human activity via seed and the plants characteristics facilitates seed dispersal across long distances.
  • Plants produce hundreds of seeds per plant.
  • Increases soil erosion and consumes soil nutrients.

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for tyrol knapweed was based upon this literature review developed by the department.


Leaves & stems: A single upright stem branches near the top. Basal leaves are oblanceolate to elliptic. Upper leaves are lanceolate and progressively decrease in size up the stem. Leaves are hairless or lightly hairy on the undersides; deeply lobed to irregularly cut. Terminal lobe is much larger than others.

Flowers: Flowers are lavender to purple in color and occur singularly at the ends of branches. Bract (long fringes beneath the flowerhead) tips are dark brown in color and long and slender. Bract tips have somewhat triangular fringe.

Fruits & seeds: Seeds are tan in color with fine hairs. Plants produce on average a few thousand seeds per plant.

Roots: Plants have taproots.

Similar species: Tyrol knapweed closely resembles other knapweeds, the majority of which are also invasive in Wisconsin.


Counties in WI where tyrol knapweed has been reported (as of April 2013). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Do you have tyrol knapweed in your county but it isn't shaded on the map? Send us a report.



  • Handpull the plants, being sure to remove the entire tap root.
  • Mow or cut plants before flowering to prevent seed-set. Note this will not immediately kill the plants; continual cutting is needed to exhaust root reserves.
  • Monitor for regrowth.


  • Herbicide treatments are most effective when combined with other control techniques and followed by re-seeding. Timing of herbicide treatments is essential to the effectiveness.
  • A three percent solution of triclopyr herbicide mixed with water can be applied to the leaves in early spring or fall.
  • Glyphosate, picloram, 2, 4-D, and clopyralid have all been used on other knapweeds


  • Gall flies (Urophora affinis and Urophora quadrifasciata) are used to feed on the developing seed heads.


View tyrol knapweed pictures in our photo gallery!


Sources for content:

  • Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board
  • USDA Forest Service

Links for More Information

Last revised: Monday June 03 2019