mile-a-minute vine
Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross


Persicaria perfoliata is an herbaceous, annual vine that invades disturbed areas in Oregon and portions of the northeastern United States. The delicate stems are reddish, highly branched and covered with small, curved spines. Circular, leafy structures (ocreae) surround the stem at the base of the petioles.
The alternate leaves are triangular, light green, 1-3 in. (2.5-7.6 cm) wide and barbed on the undersurface.
Small, white, inconspicuous flowers arise from the ocreae.
Fruit are present in mid-July through the first frost, are metallic blue and segmented with each segment containing a single black or reddish black seed.
Ecological Threat
Persicaria perfoliata invades open disturbed areas such as fields, forest edges, roadsides, ditches and stream banks. Its rapid growth allows it to cover existing vegetation and restrict light availability, potentially killing plants below. Dense mats of Persicaria perfoliata can also restrict establishment of new vegetation. It is native to Eastern Asia and the Philippines and was introduced several times into the United States from the late 1800s to the 1930s.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Invasive Listing Sources

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Polygonales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Subject: Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
devil's tearthumb

Related Scientific Names:
Ampelygonum perfoliatum L. (Synonym)
Polygonum perfoliatum L. (Synonym)


Plants - Vines