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Persicaria perfoliata

Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross

Polygonum perfoliatum L.

Ampelygonum perfoliatum (L.) Roberty & Vautier

Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil’s Tail, Mile-a-minute Vine, Mile-a-minute Weed, Mile-a-minute Knotweed

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyPolygonaceaeKnotweed or smartweed family
GenusPersicaria“Peach-like,” the medieval name for knotweed
Speciesperfoliata“Perforated,” because the stem “perforates” the leaves

About plant names...

This Asian vine, introduced to North America in the 1930s, is spreading rapidly, and considered a serious invasive threat.

Identification: I first encountered this vine on a rainy afternoon at my sister’s home in Phoenix, MD. It had engulfed nearly everything else, except for tall black walnut trees, in the wooded area behind her yard. It grows up to six inches per day, and is as effective as oriental bittersweet or kudzu at overwhelming and killing native plants. Mile-a-minute vine has leaves that are almost perfect triangles, small curved barbs along its stems, and saucer-shaped leaves (ocreas) at its stem nodes. It develops tightly packed clusters of 10-30 lobed blue fruits, each about ⅛-¼" (3.2-6.3 mm) around.

Online References:

Persicaria perfoliata on Wikipedia

Persicaria perfoliata at the Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project (or download this PDF)

Persicaria perfoliata on the Plant Conservation Alliance’s Alien Plant Working Group Least Wanted List

Persicaria perfoliata at the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (PDF)

Persicaria perfoliata on Wikimedia Commons

Persicaria perfoliata on Forestry Images

Persicaria perfoliata on eFloras

Persicaria perfoliata (Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil’s Tail, Mile-a-minute Vine, Mile-a-minute Weed, Mile-a-minute Knotweed)

10/4/2010 · Susan and Raimond’s, Phoenix, MD
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Persicaria perfoliata (Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil’s Tail, Mile-a-minute Vine, Mile-a-minute Weed, Mile-a-minute Knotweed)

10/4/2010 · Susan and Raimond’s, Phoenix, MD
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Persicaria perfoliata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Oct 2018.

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Persicaria perfoliata (Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil’s Tail, Mile-a-minute Vine, Mile-a-minute Weed, Mile-a-minute Knotweed)

10/4/2010 · Susan and Raimond’s, Phoenix, MD
≈ 4½ × 4½" (11 × 11 cm)

Persicaria perfoliata (Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil’s Tail, Mile-a-minute Vine, Mile-a-minute Weed, Mile-a-minute Knotweed)

10/4/2010 · Susan and Raimond’s, Phoenix, MD
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Persicaria perfoliata (Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil’s Tail, Mile-a-minute Vine, Mile-a-minute Weed, Mile-a-minute Knotweed)

10/4/2010 · Susan and Raimond’s, Phoenix, MD
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Persicaria perfoliata (Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil’s Tail, Mile-a-minute Vine, Mile-a-minute Weed, Mile-a-minute Knotweed)

6/19/2009 · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Range:

About this map...