Massachusetts
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

Habitat:
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
http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/icat/browse.do?specieId=13

Fact Sheet from Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group with a description of the plant, its biology, history, and management options
http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pepe1.htm

USDA Forest Service Pest Alert
http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/pest_al/mm/pa_mam.pdf

Spanish/English pest alert from USDA-NRCS
http://massnrc.org/pests/linkeddocuments/mile-a-minute_alert_spanish_USDANRCS.pdf

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Fact Sheet
http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/documents/fspope.pdf

Entry for Polygonum perfoliatum in Global Invasive Species Database
http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=582&fr=1&sts=

Last reviewed March 27, 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.