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

Spanish/English pest alert from USDA-NRCS

Entry for Polygonum perfoliatum in Global Invasive Species Database

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

Last reviewed January 8, 2018

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
The Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is maintained by staff at the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources. 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 (USDA APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.