Introduced Pests Outreach Project

Mile-A-Minute Vine

(Click on an image below to see the captioned full-size version)
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5

Scientific Name: Polygonum perfoliatum, Persicaria perfoliata
Common Names: Mile-A-Minute Vine, Mile-A-Minute Weed, Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil’s Tail, Mile-A- Minute Knotweed

Prefers sunny sites with moist soil. Disturbed areas, roadsides, woodland edges, orchards, nurseries, forest clear cuts, right-of-ways, stream banks, wet meadows

Key ID Features:
Light blue-green leaves are triangular and 1-3” (2-8cm) wide. (Figure 1)
Thin, jointed, highly branched stems are green to reddish-green in color.
Curving spines are present on the leaf stalks, stems, and underside of leaves along the veins. (Figure 2)
A leaf-like cup of tissue (ocrea) surrounds the stem at the base of the leaf stalk. (Figure 3)
Flowers are inconspicuous.
Metallic blue, berry-like, pea-sized (5mm) fruits are present from mid July through the first frost. (Figure 4)
Plants are annuals that form a highly branched vine capable of growing over trees and shrubs. (Figure 5)

Similar species: Polygonum arifolium (halberdleaf tearthub), Polygonum sagittatum (arrowleaf tearthumb), Polygonum scandens var. cristatum (false buckwheat), Calystegia sepium (wild morning glory), Polygonum cilinode (fringed black bindweed), and Polygonum convolvulus (black bindweed). For information on how to distinguish these species from P. perfoliatum , visit this excellent web resource from the University of Connecticut.

Fact sheets and references:
Invasive Plant Atlas of New England: Excellent photos and information with list of many references

Fact Sheet from Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group with a description of the plant, its biology, history, and management options

Spanish/English pest alert from USDA-NRCS

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Fact Sheet

Entry for Polygonum perfoliatum in Global Invasive Species Database

jBiological Control of Mile-a-Minute Weed: University of Delaware.

Last reviewed December 22, 2014

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program. This website was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.