D I S C O V E R    L I F E   
Bee Hunt! Odonata Lepidoptera 
  HomeAll Living ThingsIDnature guidesGlobal mapperAlbumsLabelsSearch
  AboutNewsEventsResearchEducationProjectsStudy sitesHelp

Polygonum perfoliatum Linnaeus
Devils Tail Tearthumb; Asiatic tearthumb; Persicaria perfoliata

Life   Plantae   Dicotyledoneae   Polygonaceae   Polygonum

Polygonum perfoliatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 5
Polygonum perfoliatum

Click on map for details about points.

80x5 - 240x3 - 240x4 - 320x1 - 320x2 - 320x3 - 640x1 - 640x2
Set display option above.
Click on images to enlarge.
Polygonum perfoliatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 4
Polygonum perfoliatum
Polygonum perfoliatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 3
Polygonum perfoliatum

Polygonum perfoliatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 1
Polygonum perfoliatum
Polygonum perfoliatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 1
Polygonum perfoliatum

Polygonum perfoliatum, _leaves_and_stems.JP80279_52.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Polygonum perfoliatum, leaves and stems

Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Acanaloniidae  Acanalonia conica @ UDCC_NRI (7); UDCC_TCN (4)
Cicadellidae  Colladonus clitellarius @ UDCC_TCN (1)

Oncometopia ( @ UDCC_TCN (3)
Coccinellidae  Harmonia axyridis @ I_LB (4)
Flatidae  Flatormenis chloris @ UDCC_TCN (3)

Metcalfa pruinosa @ UDCC_NRI (8)

Ormenoides venusta @ UDCC_NRI (10)
Issidae  Thionia simplex @ UDCC_TCN (1)
Membracidae  Entylia carinata @ UDCC_TCN (1)
Nabidae  Lasiomerus annulatus @ UDCC_TCN (1)
Pentatomidae  Euschistus tristigmus @ UDCC_TCN (1)

go to Discover Life's Facebook group

Following modified from PCA Alien Plant Working Group
   Top | See original

&pull 20q v5.145 20180528: Error 301 Moved Permanently http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pope1.htm

Following modified from Columbia University
   Top | See original

Introduced Species Summary Project
Mile-a-Minute Weed, Devil's-Tail Tearthumb

( Polygonum perfoliatum)


| Project Home | Taxo n omy | Identifica t ion | Distri b ution | Introduction Facts | Establishment | Ecology | Benefits | Threats | Control |


Common Name : Mile-a-minute-weed, devil’s tail tearthumb
Scientific Name : Polygonum perfoliatum

Classification :                            

Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Order : Polygonales
Family : Polygonaceae (Smartweed, Buckwheat)
Subfamily : Polygonum

Identification : An annual fast-growing weed characterized by viney stems and light-blue/green, triangular leaves measuring 1-3 inches across.   Other features include sharp, downward curving spines or barbs on the stems and major leaf veins.   These spines can rip into an unsuspecting visitor, hence the name ‘tearthurmb’.   Germinating in mid-march to April, the plant will grow a spherical blue fruit (.25 inch diameter) in clusters, which are available from mid-July until November.   Each fruit contains a single glossy spherical black seed.   Until frost, the plant can grow up to 20 feet length (6 inches per day), bearing about 50-100 seeds.   This weed is found along roadsides, wood edges, low meadows and damp stream banks and nurseries. It prefers moist and sunny soil, but can grow in partially shaded woods, growing rapidly over shrubs and other vegetation.

Original Distribution :  
Mile-a-minute is native to Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Malay Peninsula, India, and Bangladesh.

Current Distribution : Mile-a-minute can now be found in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and most recently (1997) in Connecticut.   It is estimated that these sites represent approximately 20% of its possible range due to its ability to thrive in temperate climates.

Site and Date of Introduction: The weed was first reported and eliminated in Oregon (1890) and Maryland (1937). In the 1940’s, a subsequent population was allowed to grow and flourish in a York, Pennsylvania nursery.

Mode(s) of Introduction : The first introduction was believed to arrive in Oregon on ships ballast.   The Pennsylvania spread is traced to seed dispersal through Rhododendron stock. The York, PA nursery owner became interested in the plant and allowed it to grow. Efforts to eradicate the plant were unsuccessful.

Reason(s) Why it has Become Established : The plant needs a minimum of an 8 week germination period, which makes the NE U.S. viable. It is a self-pollinating plant that requires no assistance to produce flowers, fruit and seeds. Numerous seeds are produced over a long season from June to November. Birds are the primary means for long distance seed dispersal. Locally, the seeds are spread via ants, chipmunks, squirrel and deer. A hardy plant, it prefers sun and moisture, but can travel great distance over other vegetation using its barbs to climb and locate optimum conditions.   The buoyant fruit can also travel great distances down watersheds and streams.

Ecological Role : The plant serves as a suitable food source for a diverse group of mammals, birds, and insects.

Benefit(s) : Other than a food source for wild fauna, there are no known published uses for this plant.

Threat(s) : Mile-a-minute is able to quickly form dense smothering mats that threaten the survival of the native vegetation and /or nursery tree seedlings. The seed is easily dispersed long distances and has the potential for success in many more regions.   The lack of frost, which kills the plant in temperate climates, will enable the plant to eventually become perennial in the warmer regions.

Control Level Diagnosis : Highest Priority - Attempts to control mile-a-minute must be continued and enhanced. The plant already covers a huge area and is continuing to spread rapidly. If the plant is not addressed, the rate of spread might increase, resulting in greater ecological damage.

Control Methods : The plant spread can be controlled through repeated mowing and hand removal, which stop the flower and fruit growth. However, large-scale areas of the weed may require frequent use of herbicides. Additionally, the maintenance of a stable and thick vegetative community with no gaps or openings can prevent the future establishment of the weed, as it will require some sunlight.

Works Cited

Abbey, Tim (May 2000), Mile-a-Minute or Devil’s Tearthumb, Invasive Plant Information Sheet, CT Agricultural Experiment Station.


Haber, Erich (April 1999), Mile-a-Minute Fact Sheet, National Botanical Services, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


McCormick, Larry H., Mile-a-Minute Weed in the Northeast (1997), Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.


Okay, Judith A. Gerlach, (23 April 1999 ). Mile-a-Minute Weed , Virginia Department of Forestry, Fairfax, VA. Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group.

Oliver, J. Douglas, Polygonum perfoliatum L. (Polygonaceae), the Mile-a-Minute Weed (November 1994), Fla. Dept. Agri. And Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry Botany, Circ. 29


Author : Carolyn Stahl

Photo/Map : Jil M. Swearingen, U.S. National Park Service, Washington, DC., illustration from http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pope1.htm

Last Edited : February 27, 2002

| Project Home |

Project Editor: James A. Danoff-Burg, Columbia University

Following modified from Ohio State University
   Top | See original

&pull 20q v5.145 20180528: Error 301 Moved Permanently http://ohioline.osu.edu/b866/b866_10.html

Following modified from Flora of Taiwan, National Taiwan University
   Top | See original

&pull 20q v5.145 20180528: Error 404 Not Found http://tai2.ntu.edu.tw/udth/bin/fot1.exe/browse?bid=2&page=307

Following modified from Delaware Wildflowers
   Top | See original

Delaware Wildflowers  •  Scientific names

Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross ( Polygonum perfoliatum ) Mile-a-minute
Polygonaceae — Smartweed family
Invasive non-native
Persicaria perfoliata
White Clay Creek State Park -- Pump House Road
September 2003 Persicaria perfoliata
October 2005

Guide to Persicaria of Delaware

Search Google Delaware USDA

Photos copyright David G. Smith

Delaware Wildflowers main page

Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
   Top | See original

You have requested an unaccepted/invalid name entry, the corresponding accepted/valid name is presented here as the result.
Kingdom Plantae  
 Phylum Tracheophyta  
 Class Magnoliopsida  
 Order Caryophyllales  
 Family Polygonaceae  
 Genus Persicaria  
  Persicaria perfoliata    (L.) H. Gross 
Provider: Cheng-Tao Lin 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Polygonum perfoliatum   details
Citation: Beihefte zum Botanischen Centralblatt 37(2): 113. 1919. (Beih. Bot. Centralbl.)
Name Code: 433716
Suggested Link    Nature Campus  
User Response:   upload Comments    upload Photo
Previous Page       Home Page

Following modified from Plants Database, United States Department of Agriculture
   Top | See original

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=POPE10 ---> https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=POPE10
https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=POPE10 ---> http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=POPE10
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=POPE10 ---> https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=POPE10
Link: Skip repetitive navigation links
USDA and NRCS Identifier NRCS Logo
USDA.gov Web Site PLANTS photo banner
PLANTS Home  about PLANTS  PLANTS Team  Partners of PLANTS  What  National Plant Data Team Web Site  Help using PLANTS  Contact PLANTS
 Search the PLANTS Web site
 Name Search

 State Search
 Advanced Search
 Search Help
 Alternative Crops
 Cover Crops
 Culturally Significant
 Distribution Update
 Fact Sheets & Plant Guides
 Introduced, Invasive, and Noxious Plants
 Threatened & Endangered
 Wetland Indicator Status
PLANTS Image Gallery
 50,000+ Plant Images
Download PLANTS data
 Complete PLANTS Checklist
 State PLANTS Checklist
 Advanced Search Download
 Symbols for Unknown Plants
 NRCS State GSAT Lists
 NRCS State Plants Lists
Related tools
 Crop Nutrient Tool
 Ecological Site Information System
 PLANTS Identification Keys
 Plant Materials Web Site
 Plant Materials Publications
 USDA Plant Hardiness Map
You are here: Home / Plant Profile

Polygonum perfoliatum L.
Asiatic tearthumb

General Information
Symbol: POPE10
Group: Dicot
Family: Polygonaceae
Duration: Annual
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : L48   I
Data Source and Documentation
About our new maps
Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   




Symbol Scientific Name
AMPE4 Ampelygonum perfoliatum (L.) Roberty & Vautier
PEPE35 Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross


Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Caryophyllidae
Order Polygonales
Family Polygonaceae – Buckwheat family
Genus Polygonum L. – knotweed
Species Polygonum perfoliatum L. – Asiatic tearthumb

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Noxious Weed Information
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete noxious weed list for that location, or click here for a composite list of all Federal and State Noxious Weeds .
Alabama mile-a-minute Class A noxious weed
Connecticut mile-a-minute vine Invasive, banned
Massachusetts Mile-a-minute vine or weed, Asiatic tearthumb Prohibited
North Carolina mile-a-minute Class A noxious weed
Ohio mile-a-minute weed Prohibited noxious weed
Pennsylvania mile-a-minute Noxious weed
South Carolina mile-a-minute weed Plant pest
U.S. Weed Information
Polygonum perfoliatum mile-a-minute weed This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of Weeds of the U.S.
STATE Assorted authors. State noxious weed lists for 46 states . State agriculture or natural resource departments.
N'EAST Uva, R.H., J.C. Neal,and J.M. DiTomaso. 1997. Weeds of the Northeast . Cornell University Press. Ithaca, New York.

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status


PEPE35   Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross

North America
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain FAC
Eastern Mountains and Piedmont FAC
Northcentral & Northeast FAC
Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast FAC

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (POPE10)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (AMPE4)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (POPE10)
USDA Forest Service Fire Effects Information System (POPE10)
Related Websites
CT-Invasive Plant Information Sheet (POPE10)
CT-USDA NRCS Invasive Species Identification Sheets (POPE10)
Canada-Invasive Exotic Plant Fact Sheets (POPE10)
DE-University of Delaware (POPE10)
Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (POPE10)
MD-Green Industry News (Extension Service) (POPE10)
NC-New Pest Alert (POPE10)
OH-Identifying Mile-A-Minute Weed (POPE10)
Plant Conservation Alliance Fact Sheets (POPE10)
USFS Pest Alert (POPE10)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover

 PLANTS Home | USDA.gov | NRCS | Site Map | Policies and Links
Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Non-Discrimination Statement

Updated: 2020-03-29 03:18:43 gmt
Discover Life | Top
© Designed by The Polistes Corporation