Knawel – Scleranthus annuus

Scleranthus annuus L.

Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

MI Status


Life cycle

Prostrate, mat-forming summer or winter annual.


Opposite, very narrow and linear, grayish green leaves with sharp points resemble pine needles or grass leaves. Leaves are joined at the nodes by a translucent membrane.


Grayish green, prostrate and spreading stems with numerous branches can form dense mats.

Flowers and fruit

Spiny, green or rarely whitish flowers are formed in clusters in the leaf axils. Flowers are generally not distinguishable. Egg-shaped, capsulelike fruit contain one seed.



Similar weeds

Birdseye pearlwort
(Sagina procumbens L.)
Differs by having a perennial nature with spreading stolons; bright green foliage; more distinguishable, small white flowers; and fruit that are persistent capsules with many seeds.

Knawel plant
Knawel plant
Knawel flowers
Knawel flowers
Small knawel plants
Small knawel plants

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