Persicaria perfoliata (mile-a-minute weed)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Soil Tolerances
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Social Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross, 1919
Preferred Common Name
- mile-a-minute weed
Other Scientific Names
- Amplelygonum perfoliatum (L.) Roberty and Vautier
- Chylocalyx perfoliatus (L.) Hassk.
- Echinocaulon perfoliatum (L.) Hassk.
- Echinocaulos perfoliatus (L.) Meisn.
- Fagoparum perfoliatum (L.) Rafine.
- Fagoparum perfoliatum (L.) Rafine.
- Polygonum perfoliatum (L.) L., 1759
- Tracaulon perfoliatum (L.) Greene
- Truellum perfoliatum (L.) Sojak
International Common Names
- English: Asiatic tearthumb; devil's tearthumb; devil's-tail tearthumb; giant climbing tearthumb
Local Common Names
- China: gangbangui; yi ye hu wei zao
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
P. perfoliata is a fast growing, spiny and herbaceous vine. Like many other members of the genus Persicaria, the plant is an aggressive and/or invasive weed. The plant scrambles over shrubs and other vegetation, and blocks the foliage of covered plants from available light, thus reducing their ability to photosynthesize. The leaves, petioles, and stems of P. perfoliata contain prickles, causing the movement of wildlife, and human activities to be impacted in infested areas (Okay, 1997). In its native China the plant has been used in Chinese medicine for over 300 years (Lou et al., 1988) and has rarely been recorded as an important noxious weed in either agriculture or the environment (Wang et al., 1990).
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Polygonales
- Family: Polygonaceae
- Genus: Persicaria
- Species: Persicaria perfoliata
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
The genus Persicaria (family Polygonaceae) was formerly included in the genus Polygonum. Plants in the genus are annuals or perennials, most having terminal spikes of pink or sometimes white flowers. Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross was formerly known as Polygonum perfoliatum L. (eFloras, 2008). Synonyms of the plant alsoinclude Fagoparum perfoliatum (L.) Rafine., Chylocalyx perfoliatus (L.) Hassk., Echinocaulos perfoliatus (L.) Meisn., Echinocaulon perfoliatum (L.) Hassk., Tracaulon perfoliatum (L.) Greene, Amplelygonum perfoliatum (L.) Roberty and Vautier, and Truellum perfoliatum (L.) Sojak (Steward, 1930; Reed, 1979a,b; Park, 1986; Li, 1998; eFloras, 2008).
DescriptionTop of page
P. perfoliata is a prickly scrambling vine. It can reach a height of 6 m or more through climbing over shrubs and understory trees. The stems are elongated, branched and furrowed with short recurved prickles along the ridges. The thin, papery leaves are triangular, about 3-7 cm long and 2-5 cm wide, glabrous on the upper surface with prickles along the mid-rib on the underside (Zheng et al., 2005). The circular, saucer-shaped leafy structures, called ocrea, surround the stem at nodes. The inflorescences are capitate or spike-like racemes up to 2 cm long with clusters of 10 to 15 tiny flowers either terminal or in the axils of upper leaves (Kumar and DiTommaso, 2005). The flowers, 1-3 cm long, are borne on racemes. The fruits are attractive, deep blue and arranged in clusters at terminals, each containing a single glossy, black or reddish-black hard seed called an achene (NPS, 2009). Roots are fibrous and shallow.
Plant TypeTop of page Annual
Vine / climber
DistributionTop of page
P. perfoliata is native to India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Korea, Japan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines (Ohwi, 1965; He et al., 1984; Li, 1998; eFloras, 2008). In China the plant occurs in a number of provinces (Zheng et al., 2005; eFloras, 2008) (see Distribution Table). In the USA, P. perfoliata is reported to be invasive in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, DC and Rhode Island (NPS, 2009; NPS-UG, 2009). The plant is also present in Turkey (Guner, 1984). It was also reported in, Auckland, New Zealand where plants were eradicated (NZBI, 2009) and British Columbia, Canada where populations failed to establish (Hill et al., 1981).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Bhutan||Present||Grierson and Long (1983); EPPO (2020)|
|China||Present||CABI (Undated a); EPPO (2020)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Anhui||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Beijing||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998)|
|-Chongqing||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998)|
|-Fujian||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Gansu||Present||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Guangdong||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Guangxi||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Guizhou||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Hainan||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Hebei||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Heilongjiang||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Henan||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Hubei||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Hunan||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Inner Mongolia||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998)|
|-Jiangsu||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Jiangxi||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Jilin||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Liaoning||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Shaanxi||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Shandong||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Shanghai||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998)|
|-Shanxi||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998)|
|-Sichuan||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Tianjin||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998)|
|-Tibet||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|-Yunnan||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|-Zhejiang||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998); EPPO (2020)|
|Hong Kong||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998)|
|India||Present||Native||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|-Sikkim||Present||Native||Grierson and Long (1983)|
|Indonesia||Present||Native||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|Japan||Present||Native||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|Macau||Present, Widespread||Native||Li (1998)|
|Malaysia||Present||Native||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|Nepal||Present||Native||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|North Korea||Present||EPPO (2020)|
|Philippines||Present||Native||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|South Korea||Present||Native||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|Taiwan||Present||Native||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|Turkey||Present||1984||Introduced||Güner (1984); Brundu et al. (2011); EPPO (2020)|
|Russia||Present||CABI (Undated a); EPPO (2020)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Russian Far East||Present||Native||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|-British Columbia||Absent, Formerly present||Hill et al. (1981)||Population failed to establish|
|United States||Present||CABI (Undated a); EPPO (2020)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Connecticut||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: IPANE (2009)|
|-Delaware||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||USA, National Park Service (2009); EPPO (2020)|
|-Maryland||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||USA, National Park Service (2009); EPPO (2020)|
|-Massachusetts||Present||Invasive||USA, National Park Service (2009)|
|-Mississippi||Present||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|-New Jersey||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||USA, National Park Service (2009); EPPO (2020)|
|-New York||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||USA, National Park Service (2009); EPPO (2020)|
|-North Carolina||Present||EPPO (2020)|
|-Ohio||Present||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|-Oregon||Absent, Formerly present||Hickman and Hickman (1977); EPPO (2020)||Last reported: 1890s|
|-Pennsylvania||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||USA, National Park Service (2009); EPPO (2020)|
|-Rhode Island||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)||Original citation: IPANE (2009)|
|-Virginia||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||USA, National Park Service (2009); EPPO (2020)|
|-Washington||Present||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: eFloras (2008)|
|-West Virginia||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||USA, National Park Service (2009); EPPO (2020)|
|-Wisconsin||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)||EPPO (2020)|
|New Zealand||Absent, Formerly present||New Zealand Biosecurity Institute (2009)||Eradicated from small area of infestation|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||EPPO (2020)|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
P. perfoliata was first introduced to Oregon with ship ballast in the 1890s (Hickman and Hickman, 1977) and then in south central Pennsylvania in the 1930s (Moul, 1948). It did not establish permanent populations in either area (Oliver and Coile, 1994). The first successful established population of P. perfoliata was found in late 1930s following its introduction to a nursery site in York County, Pennsylvania and since then it has spread to neighbouring states (Mountain, 1995). From 1930 to the 1980s, P. perfoliata was only reported in five counties in Pennsylvania and northern parts of central Maryland (Mountain, 1995; Reed, 1979a,b; Riefner and Windler, 1979; Price, 2001). By 2003, P. perfoliata was found in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Connecticut and the District of Columbia in the USA (IPANE, 2009; NPS, 2009).
IntroductionsTop of page
|Introduced to||Introduced from||Year||Reason||Introduced by||Established in wild through||References||Notes|
|Natural reproduction||Continuous restocking|
|Maryland||China||Around 1937||Horticulture (pathway cause)||No||Moul (1948)||Accidental introductions with Meliosma|
|New Zealand||No||NZBI (2009)||Possibly 2002|
|Oregon||1890||Hitchhiker (pathway cause)||No||Hickman and Hickman (1977)||With ship ballast|
|Pennsylvania||1930s||Horticulture (pathway cause)||Yes||Reed (1979a); Reed (1979b)||Unintentional introduction likely with rhododendron plants, introduced from possibly eastern Asia or Japan|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
Although P. perfoliata is currently only invasive in the northeastern USA, further introduction to the surrounding areas is likely. Birds may help to spread the seeds a long distance. As the plant occurs naturally in many areas in sub-tropical and tropical Asia, it could eventually spread all the way to Florida where in a wet, warm climate it might adopt a perennial life cycle (Stevens, 1994).
HabitatTop of page
P. perfoliata is now found growing along roadsides, edges of woods and thickets, railroads, nurseries, forest margins, grassy slopes, low meadows and stream banks, wetlands, and uncultivated open fields (Mountain, 1989; Okay, 1997; Wu et al., 2002). The plant prefers moist areas, but can also grow on dry land. In China, the plant is found at elevations of 80 – 2300 m (Zheng et al., 2005).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Cultivated / agricultural land||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Natural|
|Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Disturbed areas||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Disturbed areas||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Rail / roadsides||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Rail / roadsides||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Natural|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Natural forests||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Natural forests||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Natural|
|Riverbanks||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Wetlands||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Rocky areas / lava flows||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Rocky areas / lava flows||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Natural|
|Scrub / shrublands||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Scrub / shrublands||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Natural|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
P. perfoliata is not generally a weed of agricultural land (Wang et al., 1990), as it is removed during cultivation. However, the plant can be a pest in orchards, climbing on and covering horticultural crops. In the USA, the plant has a negative effect on Christmas tree farms, forestry operations on pine plantations and reforestation of natural areas (NPS, 2009).
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Little information is available on the genetics of P.perfoliata. Recent studies found that invasive North American P. perfoliata plants have lower tannin content, but exhibit higher prickle density on the node and leaf, compared with plants from native Asian populations, indicating potential evolutionary change of the plant chemical and physical defences (Jianqing Ding, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China , personal observation, 2009).
P.perfoliata is primarily a self-pollinated species with occasional outcrossing. The plant does not require pollinators for fruit and seed development (Okay, 1997). A single plant may produce 7-40 seeds per year (Hyatt and Araki, 2006), over a long season, from June until October. Fruits ripen from late June until October in Virginia, but a slightly shorter season occurs in the northeastern USA (Hill et al. 1981; Okay 1997). The plant senesces after the first frost in late October or early November in the northeastern USA (Kumar and DiTommaso, 2005). Cold stratification is usually required for breaking dormancy of achenes (Johnson, 1996; Okay, 1997; Colpetzer and Hough-Goldstein, 2004.). Germination occurs in early to mid-March and continues through April (McCormick and Johnson, 1997; Wu et al., 2002). Seeds may be viable 3 years after being buried in soil although the germination level is significantly decreased (Van Clef and Stiles, 2001).
P.perfoliata is found growing in combination with many woody and herbaceous species, and has a range of other faunal associations in its native China (Ding et al., 2004), Japan (Miura et al., 2008) and invasive range (Wheeler and Mengel, 1984; Hough-Goldstein et al., 2008a).
P.perfoliata is commonly found from cold northeastern China to south, tropical Asia, thus is able to tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Although the plant prefers open fields, it can also be found in some shaded habitats. It adapts well to a broad moisture condition, although the plant prefers growing along wet habitats. Annual rainfall in its natural habitat in China varies from about 500 to 2000 mm. In China, the plant occurs at elevations of 80 – 2300 m (Zheng et al., 2005).
ClimateTop of page
|C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate||Preferred||Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C|
|Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year|
|Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer||Tolerated||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers|
|Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter||Tolerated||Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)|
|D - Continental/Microthermal climate||Tolerated||Continental/Microthermal climate (Average temp. of coldest month < 0°C, mean warmest month > 10°C)|
|Df - Continental climate, wet all year||Tolerated||Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)|
|Ds - Continental climate with dry summer||Tolerated||Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)|
|Dw - Continental climate with dry winter||Tolerated||Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)|
|ET - Tundra climate||Tolerated||Tundra climate (Average temp. of warmest month < 10°C and > 0°C)|
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||-40||4|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||2||27|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||14||35|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||-22||20|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||2||5||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||400||3000||mm; lower/upper limits|
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
A survey was undertaken in China between 1996 and 2001 for phytophagous insect fauna associated with P. perfoliata. About 111 insect species were collected and identified, among which several specialists have been introduced into the USA for evaluation for potential use in biological control. The host-specific weevil, Rhinoncomimus latipes was already released (see Biological Control section). A survey of natural enemies of P. perfoliata in the USA has been conducted over the past 20 years. Wheeler and Mengel (1984) reported approximately 30 insect species recovered from the plant in Pennsylvania, but none appeared to be specialists and cause sufficient damage. Fredericks (2001) surveyed for natural enemies of P. perfoliata in Delaware and Maryland during 1997–1998 and found the polyphagous Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica to be the most damaging insect. In cooperation with the State Departments of Agriculture and Forestry of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the USDA Forest Service led a project from 1997 to 2000 to survey insect species across the four states. A total of over 2000 insect specimens in 112 families and 7 orders were collected and identified, among which the Japanese beetle was the most abundant herbivorous species recorded (Hough-Goldstein et al., 2008a).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)
Water is an important mode for dispersal of P.perfoliata fruits and seeds in stream and river environments.
Vector Transmission (Biotic)
P. perfoliata seeds can be primarily dispersed by birds, wild animals such as chipmunks, squirrels and deer. Ants may help to carry seeds and play an important role in the survival and germination of the seeds (NPS, 2009).
In 1946 P.perfoliata was first found to establish a population at the Gable Nursery in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, in the USA (Moul, 1948; Hill et al., 1981), where the seeds were likely unintentionally transported via rhododendron nursery stock imported from eastern Asia in the1930s (Riefner, 1982; Okay, 1997).
Pathway CausesTop of page
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Economic/livelihood||Positive and negative|
|Human health||Positive and negative|
Economic ImpactTop of page
P. perfoliata can cause economic losses after it invades orchards, nurseries, and horticultural crops as the plant can smother seedlings (Okay, 1997). The plant may have a positive economic impact, especially in China where it is valuable in Chinese medicine.
Environmental ImpactTop of page
P. perfoliata infestations cause ecological problems in invaded areas. It has been placed on several state noxious weed lists in the USA (Oliver and Coile, 1994; Wu et al., 2002). The plant grows rapidly and covers shrubs and other vegetation, dominating its new community. Plants and trees covered with P. perfoliata are greatly suppressed because of the lack of sunlight.
Social ImpactTop of page
P.perfoliata leaves, petioles, and stems contain prickles, and so the movement of wildlife, and human activities are impacted in infested areas (Okay, 1997). There are possibly positive social impacts of the plant due to its value in Chinese medicine.
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Has a broad native range
- Abundant in its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Is a habitat generalist
- Fast growing
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Increases vulnerability to invasions
- Infrastructure damage
- Modification of successional patterns
- Monoculture formation
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Negatively impacts cultural/traditional practices
- Negatively impacts forestry
- Negatively impacts animal health
- Negatively impacts livelihoods
- Negatively impacts tourism
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Transportation disruption
- Negatively impacts animal/plant collections
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Competition - shading
- Competition - smothering
- Competition - strangling
- Rapid growth
- Produces spines, thorns or burrs
UsesTop of page
In its native Asia P.perfoliata has been used as an herbal medicine for over 300 years (He et al., 1984; Yang and Kim, 1993), or as an edible wild fruit (He et al., 1984). Two protein kinase C inhibitors (PKC), vanicosides A and B, five diferuloyl esters of sucrose, and feruloylsucroses have been isolated from the plants (Sun, 1999; Sun et al., 2000), showing potential for use in medicine such as anticancer agents (Sun, 1999; Boadi et al., 2003; Pietruck et al., 2003). Nine components were recently isolated from the methanol extract of the plant and evaluated for their antioxidant activity, among which, alpha-tocopherol and methyl trans-ferulate showed significant effects (Chang et al., 2008). In addition, five phenolic acids, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, protocatechuic acid, and vanillic acid were isolated from the aqueous extracts of the plant (Chang et al., 2008; Jin et al., 2009). They are allelopathic substances that have potential in controlling crop weeds (Chang et al., 2008).
In its native Asia, P.perfoliata is valuable because it may be used in herbal medicine.
Uses ListTop of page
- Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
P. perfoliata is distinguished from its relatives including Persicaria arifolium, Persicaria sagittatum, and Persicaria convolvulus by the vine-like stem, triangular leaves, and sharp downward curving spines on stems, petioles, and main leaf veins (Hill et al., 1981; Oliver and Coile, 1994). The saucer-shaped ocrea encircling the stem at the nodes is also a key diagnostic characteristic. For details, see the description by Kumar and DiTommaso (2005).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
As P.perfoliata seeds or seedlings may be unintentionally introduced with other plant materials, such as nursery stock, strict quarantine is essential. P.perfoliata is easily distinguished from its relatives by the vine-like stem, triangular leaves, sharp downward curving spines on stems, and petioles, and saucer-shaped ocrea. Early detection and inspection should be conducted to remove any introduced individuals.
In the USA P.perfoliata did not establish permanent populations in Portland, Oregon in 1890 and Beltsville, Maryland in 1937, nor in British Columbia, Canada in 1954 (Hill et al., 1981; Oliver and Coile, 1994). The plant was recently eradicated from Auckland, New Zealand (NZBI, 2009).
Maintaining vegetative community stability and broad vegetative buffers along streams and forest edges will help to shade out and prevent P.perfoliata establishment (NPS, 2009).
For the small seedlings covering ground, repeated mowing will suppress the plants and prevent or reduce flowering. However, mechanical control may not be applied for the bigger plants of P.perfoliata that climb on and cover trees.
Hand pulling is feasible and effective for removing seedlings that have less recurved barbs on the stem and leaves. However, for the bigger plants of P.perfoliata, wearing thick gloves, long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt will help prevent skin abrasion (NPS, 2009).
A biological control programme was initiated by the USDA Forest Service in collaboration with China in 1995, to screen potential host-specific natural enemies in its native Asia. A geometrid, moth, Timandra griseata, was firstly introduced from China to the quarantine in the USA, but it was rejected for the use in biological control as host range tests indicated it had a broad host range in Polygonaceae (Price et al., 2003). The Asian weevil, Rhinoncomimus latipes, was considered a promising biological control agent as it is a host-specific insect (Colpetzer et al., 2004). In 2004 this weevil was approved for release in the USA and has now established populations in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. By the end of 2007 more than 53,000 weevils had been reared in New Jersey and released, mostly in New Jersey, but also in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia (Hough-Goldstein et al., 2009), establishing populations at 63 out of 65 sites (96.9%) where they were released between 2004 and 2007. Population monitoring by Hough-Goldstein et al. (2009) also found the weevils at 30 additional non-release sites in New Jersey. They dispersed at an average rate of 4.3 km/year. Results of a 2-year impact study in field cages suggest that R. latipes feeding on P. perfoliata has the potential to impact plant growth and reproduction, thus may help to decrease plant competitive ability (Hough-Goldstein et al., 2008b). For latest summary, see Anon (2011).
Systemic herbicides like glyphosate-based products such as Roundup Classic® for upland areas and Rodeo® for wetland applications are effective (NPS, 2009).
Gaps in Knowledge/Research NeedsTop of page
Much work is being conducted on biological control of P. perfoliata in the northeastern USA through releasing the weevil Rhinoncomimus latipes and monitoring its population for evaluating its control efficacy. However, further studies on invasion biology and ecology of this plant are needed.
ReferencesTop of page
Anon, 2011. Biological Control of Mile-a-Minute Weed. The 2011 Mile-a-Minute Biological Control Cooperators Meeting. http://ag.udel.edu/enwc/research/biocontrol/mileaminute.htm
Berner DK; Cavin CA; Erper I; Tunali B, 2012. First report of anthracnose of mile-a-minute (Persicaria perfoliata) caused by Colletotrichum cf. gloeosporioides in Turkey. Plant Disease, 96(10):1578. http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/loi/pdis
Boadi WY; Iyere PA; Adunyah SE, 2003. Effect of quercetin and genistein on copper- and iron-induced lipid peroxidation in methyl linolenate. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 23(5):363-370. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/104558676/ABSTRACT
Brundu G; Aksoy N; Brunel S; Eliás P; Fried G, 2011. Rapid surveys for inventorying alien plants in the Black Sea region of Turkey. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin, 41(2):208-216. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2338
Chang CI; Tsai FJ; Chou CH, 2008. Natural products from Polygonum perfoliatum and their diverse biological activities. Natural Product Communications, 3(9):1385-1386. http://members.naturalproduct.us/Secure/Issue.aspx?volumeissueid=33
Colpetzer K; Hough-Goldstein J; Ding JianQing; Fu WeiDong, 2004. Host specificity of the Asian weevil, Rhinoncomimus latipes Korotyaev (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a potential biological control agent of mile-a-minute weed, Polygonum perfoliatum L. (Polygonales: Polygonaceae). Biological Control, 30(2):511-522.
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OrganizationsTop of page
China: Invasion Biology and Biocontrol Lab. Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Moshan, Wuhan, Hubei 430074, http://www.bioinvasion.net/mysite/index.html
USA: Department of Entomology & Wildlife Ecology, Newark, DE 19716, http://ag.udel.edu/enwc/research/biocontrol/index.htm
USA: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401, http://www.dnr.state.mid.us/
USA: National Park Service, Center for Urban Ecology, 4598 MacArthur Blvd NW, Washington DC 20007, http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pepe1.htm
USA: USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Enterprise Team, 180 Cranfield Street,, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505, http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/mile-a-minute_weed.pdf
ContributorsTop of page
23/10/09 Original text by:
Jianqing Ding, Wuhan Botanical Garden/Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences Moshan, Wuhan, Hubei Province, 430074, China
Distribution MapsTop of page
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