Persicaria perfoliata

Common Names: Mile-a-minute weed, devil's tail, giant climbing tearthumb, Asiatic tearthumb
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Smartweed family

Generally considered an invasive species and pest for its ability to grow very quickly and cover-over and envelope an entire area, often starving other plants of sunlight and nutrient. It has a reddish stem that is armed with downward pointing hooks or barbs which are also present on the underside of the leaf blades. The light green colored leaves are shaped like an equilateral (equal-sided) triangle and alternate along the narrow, delicate stems. Distinctive circular, cup-shaped leafy structures, called ocreas, surround the stem at intervals. Flower buds, and later flowers and fruits, emerge from within the ocreas. Flowers are small, white and generally inconspicuous. The fruits are attractive, metallic blue and segmented, each segment containing a single glossy, black or reddish-black seed.

Occurs in a wide variety of habitats including: open and warm areas, along the edges of woods, wetlands, stream banks, and roadsides, uncultivated open fields, parks, and fence lines.

Primary Flower Color: White
Secondary Flower Color: White
Edible Notes: It may be eaten as a sour-flavored leaf vegetable, although it has a relatively high content of oxalic acid and cannot be consumed frequently.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.