FloraFinder.org
Home   About Us   Want to Help?   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Biblio

Polygonum arifolium L.

Halberd-leaved tearthumb

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
GenusPolygonumGreek poly, “many,” and gonu, “knee,” for the swollen jointed stems
Speciesarifolium

About plant names...

Halberd-leaved tearthumb is a rather strange-sounding name. “Halberd-leaved,” for its leaves’ resemblance to a rather nasty ancient weapon; “tearthumb,” for the back­ward-pointing barbs on its stems. The plant is native to eastern North America.

Plants: This vinelike plant has weak stems that are green, pink or red, with many tiny backward-pointing barbs used to support it as it grows over other plants. Plants may be 24-48" (60-121 cm) long.

Leaves: Shaped like arrowheads, except that the backward-pointing barbs point outward (technically, “hastate”). Leaves are hairy, 4-4½" (10-11 cm) long.

Flowers: Flowerheads are less than ⅜" (1 cm) in diameter, white to light pink in color. Each rounded flowerhead consists of 5-20 individual flowers at the end of a long stem, which emerges from a leaf node.

Fruits: Rounded reddish-brown nutlets about ⅛" (3.2 mm) around.

 

Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)

8/30/2007 · By User:SB_Johnny

Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)

Halberd-leaved tearthumb and its namesake, a halberd from 14th-16th century Sweden.

These similar species are most easily distinguished by leaf shape:

  You are here
Polygonum arifolium

Polygonum sagittatum

Polygonum perfoliatum
Common Name

halberd-leaved tearthumb

arrow tearthumb

Asiatic tearthumb
Plant Vine has weak stems that are green, pink or red, with many tiny backward-pointing barbs, 24-48" (60-121 cm) long Stems 3-6' (91-182 cm) long, green, pink, or red, hollow, vinelike, with squared edges and tiny, backward-pointing prickles. Vines have reddish stems with backward-pointing hooks that allow it to clamber over other plants.
Flowers Flowerheads are less than ⅜" (1 cm) in diameter, white to light pink, with 5-20 individual flowers at the end of a long stem Flowerheads are less than ⅜" (1 cm) in diameter, white to pink in color. Each rounded flowerhead consists of 5-20 individual flowers at the end of a long stem. Flowers and fruits emerge from the ocreas. Flowers are white, but inconspicuous.
Leaves Leaves are shaped like arrowheads, except that the backward-pointing barbs point outward (technically, “hastate”). Leaves are hairy, 4-4½" (10-11 cm) long Shaped like narrow arrowheads, attached via short ⅜" (1 cm) stems. The base of each leaf tends to wrap around the stem. Leaf edges also have tiny prickles. 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. Although ocreas are present in all Polygonums, they usually take the form of a fibrous sheath wrapped tightly around the plant stem.
Fruit Seeds are rounded reddish-brown nutlets about ⅛" (3.2 mm) around Small nutlets, brown to black. Tightly packed clusters of 10-30 lobed metallic blue fruits, each about ⅛-¼" (3.2-6.3 mm) around. Each lobe or segment contains a single glossy, black or reddish black seed.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Marshes, swamps, wet meadows Wet, marshy ground Almost anywhere there are warm moist or wet open areas: woods, wetlands, roadsides, fields, stream banks, forest edges.
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common Invasive

 

Online References:

Polygonum arifolium on spes.vt.edu

Polygonum arifolium on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Polygonum arifolium on

Polygonum arifolium at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Persicaria arifolia (L.) Harolds.

Polygonum arifolium L. var. lentiforme Fernald & Grisc.

Polygonum arifolium L. var. pubescens (Keller) Fernald

Tracaulon arifolium (L.) Raf.

 

Polygonum arifolium description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 6 Sep 2021.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Range:

About this map...