Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Polygonum persicaria
(redshank)

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Datasheet

Polygonum persicaria (redshank)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Polygonum persicaria
  • Preferred Common Name
  • redshank
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • P. persicaria can be very competitive with crop plants, particularly in moist areas, and has an ability to spread rapidly once introduced to an area. The economic impact of P. persicaria in agricultural production is sufficient for various government...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Upper part of plant with leaves and flowers.
TitleUpper part of plant
CaptionUpper part of plant with leaves and flowers.
Copyright©Kurt G. Kissmann
Upper part of plant with leaves and flowers.
Upper part of plantUpper part of plant with leaves and flowers.©Kurt G. Kissmann
Flowering shoot of P. persicaria.
TitleFlowering shoot
CaptionFlowering shoot of P. persicaria.
Copyright©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Flowering shoot of P. persicaria.
Flowering shootFlowering shoot of P. persicaria.©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Mature black seeds of P. persicaria.
TitleSeeds
CaptionMature black seeds of P. persicaria.
Copyright©Kurt G. Kissmann
Mature black seeds of P. persicaria.
SeedsMature black seeds of P. persicaria.©Kurt G. Kissmann

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Polygonum persicaria L.

Preferred Common Name

  • redshank

Other Scientific Names

  • Persicaria dolichopoda (Ochi) Sasaki
  • Persicaria maculata (Raf.) S.F. Gray
  • Persicaria maculosa S.F. Gray
  • Persicaria mitis Delarbre
  • Persicaria persicaria (L.) Small
  • Persicaria ruderalis (Salisb.) C.F. Reed
  • Persicaria vulgaris Webb & Moq.
  • Polygonum dubium Stein
  • Polygonum fusiforme Greene
  • Polygonum minus auct. non Huds.
  • Polygonum puritanorum Fern.
  • Polygonum vulgaris Samp.

International Common Names

  • English: lady's thumb; ladysthumb
  • Spanish: persicaria manchada
  • French: persicaire douce; pied rouge
  • Portuguese: erva-pessegueira

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: persicaria-de-pe-vermelho
  • Germany: floh knöterich
  • Italy: persicaria
  • Japan: harutade
  • Netherlands: duizendknoop, kleine; perzikkruid
  • New Zealand: willow weed
  • Sweden: piloert, aaker-
  • USA: heart's-ease; heartweed; spotted ladysthumb

EPPO code

  • POLMI (Polygonum minus)
  • POLPE (Polygonum persicaria)
  • PRAVU (Persicaria vulgaris)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page P. persicaria can be very competitive with crop plants, particularly in moist areas, and has an ability to spread rapidly once introduced to an area. The economic impact of P. persicaria in agricultural production is sufficient for various governments to declare this weed as a noxious pest (Anon., 1996; Anon., 2003). The state of Minnesota in the USA has declared P. persicaria as a secondary noxious weed and several states have categorized it as invasive (USDA-NRCS, 2002).

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Polygonales
  •                         Family: Polygonaceae
  •                             Genus: Polygonum
  •                                 Species: Polygonum persicaria

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page P. persicaria is a summer annual, herbaceous, broadleaved (dicot) weed and is a member of the Polygonaceae, or smartweed family, also sometimes called the buckwheat, knotweed, or dock family. There are numerous varieties described by various authorities (e.g. Ekman and Knutson, 1994; Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2003; USDA-ARS, 2003). Several of these, such as var. minus, var. ruderale and var. vulgare appear to correspond to species now classified as accepted synonyms of P. persicaria. The taxonomical status of other varieties listed, var. angustiflorum Beckh., var. lapathiolium (L.) Meisn., var. opacum (Sam.) A.J. Li and var. vernicosa Cham & Schltdl. may correspond to other species and require confirmation. A form with white flowers rather than the usual deep pink, forma albiflora Millsp. has been described. Also, there are several separate authorities listed for P. persicaria (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2003). This all indicates widespread variation in the species. Many Polygonum species, including P. persicaria, are now placed by a number of authorities in the genus Persicaria, hence Stace (1991) uses the synonym Persicaria maculosa and Grierson and Long (1983) use Persicaria dolichopoda.

Description

Top of page P. persicaria grows erect to spreading to 0.2-1.2 m tall and generally sprawls with age. Leaf blades lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, 3-15 cm long, 0.5-3 cm wide, glabrous to sparsely strigose, usually puncticulate, especially beneath, acute to long-acuminate, cuneate at the base, subsessile or on petioles to 1 cm long; ocreae 5-15 mm long, fringed with bristles, glabrous to strigose. Racemes usually globose to cylindric, 0.5-2.5 cm long, 0.5-1 cm thick. The leaves of this species typically have a dark green splotch, which is often 'V'-shaped, in their centres. The stems are glabrous, branching at base, erect, herbaceous, typically reddish at nodes. P. persicaria has a distinctly fringed ocrea, distinguishing it from other Polygonum species (Uva et al., 1997). The fringes on the P. persicaria ocrea are short, less than half the length of the membraneous ocrea. Roots are typically a taproot with branches. Flowers light to deep pink; calyx 2.5-3 mm long, 5-lobed to near the middle; stamens 6, included; style branches 2 or 3. The flowers are present July-September in the northern hemisphere. Achenes (seeds) are black, shiny, two-sided, lenticular or some often trigonous, 2-2.5 mm long.

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Seed propagated

Distribution

Top of page P. persicaria is thought to be native to Europe, but is quite common in many other temperate and sub-tropical countries around the world and at high elevation in the tropics. The eastern limits to its native range appear to be uncertain however. Although it is known as a European or Eurasian native, it is also stated as a native of China (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2003).

Distribution Table

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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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanPresent Invasive Holm et al., 1991
BangladeshPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991
BhutanPresentGrierson and Long, 1983
ChinaRestricted distributionNativeFreedman, 1998; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2003
-FujianPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2003
-GuangdongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2003
-GuizhouPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2003
-SichuanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2003
-ZhejiangPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2003
IndiaPresentSefaur and Mukherjee, 2010
-West BengalPresentSefaur and Mukherjee, 2010
IranPresentHolm et al., 1991
IraqPresentHolm et al., 1991
JapanPresent Invasive Holm et al., 1991
NepalPresentHolm et al., 1991
PakistanPresentHolm et al., 1991
PhilippinesPresent Invasive Holm et al., 1991
TurkeyPresentNativeHolm et al., 1991; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003

Africa

EgyptPresentHolm et al., 1991
KenyaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991
TunisiaPresentHolm et al., 1991
UgandaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991

North America

CanadaPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; Anon., 1996
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroduced
-ManitobaPresentIntroduced Invasive Anon., 1996
-QuebecPresentBélair et al., 2007
MexicoPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; New York Botanical Garden, 2003
USAPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-AlaskaPresentIntroduced Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-ArizonaPresentIntroduced Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-ArkansasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-ColoradoPresentIntroduced Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-ConnecticutPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-DelawarePresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-FloridaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-IdahoPresentIntroduced Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-IllinoisPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-IndianaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-IowaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-KansasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-KentuckyPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-MainePresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-MarylandPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-MassachusettsPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-MichiganPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002; Weed Science Society of America, 2003
-MinnesotaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-MississippiPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-MissouriPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-MontanaPresentIntroduced Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-NebraskaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-NevadaPresentIntroduced Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-New HampshirePresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-New JerseyPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-New MexicoPresentIntroduced Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-New YorkPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-North DakotaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-OhioPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-OklahomaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-OregonPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-South DakotaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-TennesseePresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-TexasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-UtahPresentIntroduced Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-VermontPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-WashingtonPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-West VirginiaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-WisconsinPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002
-WyomingPresentIntroduced Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2002

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced Invasive New York Botanical Garden, 2003
BoliviaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-ParanaPresentIntroducedNew York Botanical Garden, 2003
-Rio Grande do SulPresentIntroducedNew York Botanical Garden, 2003
ChilePresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; Pedreros et al., 2002
ColombiaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991
EcuadorPresentIntroducedNew York Botanical Garden, 2003

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
AustriaPresentNative Invasive Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
BelarusPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
BelgiumPresentNative Invasive Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
BulgariaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
CroatiaPresentKristek et al., 2004
Czech RepublicPresentNative Invasive Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003; Weed Science Society of America, 2003
DenmarkPresentNative Invasive INRA, 2001; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
EstoniaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
Faroe IslandsPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
FinlandPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
FrancePresentNative Invasive INRA, 2001; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003; Weed Science Society of America, 2003
-CorsicaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
GermanyPresentNative Invasive INRA, 2001; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
GreecePresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
HungaryPresentNative Invasive Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
IcelandPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
IrelandPresentNative Invasive Simmonds, 1946; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
ItalyPresentNative Invasive INRA, 2001; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
LatviaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
LithuaniaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
MoldovaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
NetherlandsPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
NorwayPresentNative Invasive Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
PolandPresentNative Invasive Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
PortugalPresentNative Invasive INRA, 2001; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
-AzoresPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
RomaniaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Central RussiaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
-Northern RussiaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
-Southern RussiaPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
SerbiaPresentMarkovic et al., 2008
SloveniaPresentEler and Batic, 2002
SpainPresentNative Invasive INRA, 2001; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
-Balearic IslandsPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
SwedenPresentNative Invasive Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
SwitzerlandPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
UKPresentNative Invasive Simmonds, 1946; INRA, 2001; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
UkrainePresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)PresentNativeRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2003

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedAdkins and Peters, 2001
New ZealandPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1991; Weed Science Society of America, 2003

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page Spread of P. persicaria from Europe to other parts of the world appears to have been prevalent in the 1800s. It is now particularly common in eastern areas of North America, while also present in every continent.

Risk of Introduction

Top of page Due to the risks of both accidental and intentional introduction, either as a seed contaminant, via biotic or abiotic spread or from the importation of seed for ornamental planting, further spread of P. persicaria is likely. As a result, P. persicaria has been declared a noxious weed in parts of Canada (Anon., 1996) and the USA (USDA-NRCS, 2002).

Habitat

Top of page P. persicaria grows best in moist to wet areas of waste ground, meadows, river banks, roadsides, railroads, and disturbed sites, including croplands and gardens. It is most prevalent near springs, shores, stream banks and ditches, especially irrigation ditches, where water is fresh. Plants often grow in wet moist soils, but tolerate periods of dryness. This species does not tolerate highly acidic soils (California Department of Food and Agriculture, 2003).

Habitat List

Top of page
CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page P. persicaria can be a serious weed of cultivated agricultural and horticultural crops. Holm et al. (1997) note that it is a weed of 35 crops including many unspecified vegetable and orchard crops.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

Top of page Genetics

P. persicaria has been found to hybridize with pale smartweed (P. lapathifolium). Compared with P. persicaria, the hybrid plants have narrower flower spikes and flatter achenes (California Department of Food and Agriculture, 2003). Flora Europaea (Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, 2003) lists a number of hybrids including P. persicaria though considering the array of varietal synonymity the exact status of these requires verification. However, it is certain that there is widespread variation in the morphology of this species.

Physiology and Phenology

Research has shown that P. persicaria has a great deal of plasticity in its traits (Sultan and Bazzaz, 1993). For example, in a resource-rich environment, this species reproduced much more vigorously, while in a low-light environment it doubled the amount of leaf tissue (Sultan, 1996). Plants of this terrestrial summer annual typically do not form close colonies, but grow as scattered individuals. Plants are killed in the autumn by the first hard frost. Foliage turns brown to reddish and does not persist through the cold season (California Department of Food and Agriculture, 2003).

Reproductive Biology

Propagation is by seed. Seeds fall near the parent plant, but often remain on the parent plant until scattered by animals or other disturbance. Once the seeds fall to the soil surface, they may be dispersed with water, animals, in soil movement, or with machinery. They may also survive crop harvest and become contaminants of crop seed. A persistent soil seed bank usually accumulates. Seeds are dormant when shed and require a cold, moist period to break dormancy. Length of initial seed dormancy varies widely on individual plants and between populations. Seeds normally germinate in the springtime, and those that do not germinate the first season enter secondary dormancy (California Department of Food and Agriculture, 2003). Research has shown that most seeds of P. persicaria easily emerge from most soil textures and from soil depths up to 50 mm (James et al., 2002). Seed longevity in the field is poorly documented. Under very rare conditions, fragmented stems can also regenerate into new plants (California Department of Food and Agriculture, 2003).

Environmental Requirements

Climatic requirements include reasonable soil moisture. As noted above, cold, moist conditions are required to break seed dormancy. Although this weed thrives under moist conditions for much of the season, it can tolerate moderate summer droughts. P. persicaria plants have been found to elevations of 1500 m in California, USA (California Department of Food and Agriculture, 2003) or 1800 m in China (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2003).

Associations

Although these plants are considered somewhat toxic, the seeds are frequently consumed by animals. Though rarely having a serious impact on P. persicaria, at least one virus disease (Arabis mosaic nepovirus) can utilize P. persicaria as a host, where symptoms are mosaics, mottling, chlorotic ringspots and sometimes necrosis. Generally these symptoms disappear soon after infection, but plants may remain stunted. This virus can be transmitted by nematodes or through infected seed.

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
0 0 0 1800

Air Temperature

Top of page
Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -20
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 5 20
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 13 30
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) -10 4

Rainfall

Top of page
ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration07number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall5002500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Summer

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page P. persicaria is a host to at least one virus disease (Arabis mosaic nepovirus), though this rarely has a serious impact on the plant.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

P. persicaria is propagated almost entirely by seeds which are produced in large numbers. Dispersal over short distances (1-10 m) is generally by wind or animals. Dispersal over longer distances can occur with water, particularly floods (NASD, 2002).

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

Birds and other animals can consume and disseminate seeds.

Agricultural Practices

In agricultural areas, both cultivation and harvesting machinery can carry seeds from field to field.

Accidental Introduction

Crop seeds need to be cleaned well to ensure that this and other weed seeds are not disseminated via crop seeds and planted with future crops.

Intentional Introduction

P. persicaria seeds are sold for wildflower gardens. These sales are made through seed catalogues and over the internet and there exists the possibility of further introduction as a minor ornamental species.

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
MailSold as wildflower Yes
Soil, sand and gravelRivers and floods Yes

Plant Trade

Top of page
Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx seeds
Fruits (inc. pods) seeds
Growing medium accompanying plants seeds
True seeds (inc. grain) seeds
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bark
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
Leaves
Roots
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
Wood

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production Negative
Human health None
Livestock production Negative
Native fauna None
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species None
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Impact

Top of page P. persicaria can be very competitive with crop plants, particularly in moist soils and as such can have significant economic impacts in the requirements for use of increased tillage and herbicides, though exact data on costs due to the presence of this species are not known. Holm et al. (1997) note that it is a weed of 35 crops in 50 countries, those outside Europe including Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and the USA, also noting allelopathic effects on flax potatoes.

Environmental Impact

Top of page P. persicaria competes with natural vegetation, particularly in moist areas along ditches, streams, rivers, and marshes.

Impact: Biodiversity

Top of page P. persicaria can compete strongly with other herbaceous vegetation in moist areas and as such can replace the natural vegetation and threaten biodiversity.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Pest and disease transmission
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

Top of page During times of famine in China, P. persicaria leaves and stems have been consumed by humans (Freedman, 1998). In numerous countries, this weed is used as a decorative planting in flower gardens.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page P. persicaria has many similarities to P. pensylvanicum, but P. persicaria generally has a darkly pigmented mark on the leaf blade that is usually lacking on P. pensylvanicum (Uva et al., 1997). P. lapathifolium (= P. scabrum) is also similar but with green flowers and glandular dots on the under surface of upper leaves. P. cepitosum is similar but has a more rose-colored perianth and the bracts of the inflorescence have cilia which typically are longer than the flowers.

Prevention and Control

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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.

Cultural Control

Intensive agricultural cultivation that does not allow emerged P. persicaria plants to mature will manage populations over time. Perennial turf or forages with frequent mowing will also deplete this weed.

Mechanical Control

Tillage/cultivation is effective for control of P. persicaria seedlings. The same is true of hoeing in home gardens and similar areas that can be managed by hand. Repeated mowing which prevents seed production will reduce populations over time.

Chemical Control

Numerous herbicides are highly effective in controlling P. persicaria. However, in France from 1980, there were reports of biotypes of this weed resistant to Group C1/5 (photosystem II inhibitors) herbicides found in maize and other cropland. Research has shown that these particular biotypes are also resistant to atrazine and they may be cross-resistant to other Group C1/5 herbicides (Weed Science Society of America, 2003). Similar resistance to triazines has since been confirmed in the Czech Republic, New Zealand and the United States.

Biological Control

Although P. persicaria plants are susceptible to Arabis mosaic virus, no research has been undertaken on the development of biological control agents, whether viral or fungal. No arthropods known to attack this species specifically have been identified.

Integrated Control

In agricultural and horticultural crops, P. persicaria can be managed through a combination of cultural, mechanical and chemical measures.

References

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Adkins SW; Peters NCB, 2001. Smoke derived from burnt vegetation stimulates germination of arable weeds. Seed Science Research, 11(3):213-222; 30 ref.

Anon., 1996. Manitoba Regulation Noxious Weeds Regulation - MR 38-5/96. http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/pdf/n110-035.96.pdf.

Anon., 2003. Quebec Statutes and Regulations. Noxious Weeds. Agricultural Abuses Act. http://www.canlii.org/qc/regu/crqc/20030530/r.q.a-2r.1/whole.html.

Bélair G; Dauphinais N; Benoit DL; Fournier Y, 2007. Reproduction of Pratylenchus penetrans on 24 common weeds in potato fields in Québec. Journal of Nematology, 39(4):321-326. http://palmm.fcla.edu/nematode/index.htm

Cranston R; Ralph D; Wikeem B, 2002. Field Guide to Noxious and Other Selected Weeds of British Columbia. Government of British Columbia. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/weedguid/weedguid.htm.

Ekman S; Knutsson T, 1994. Nomenclatural notes on Persicaria. Nordic Journal of Botany, 14(1):23-25

Eler K; Batic F, 2002. Phytocenological and agronomic classification of weed vegetation from intensively used fields of Kranjsko and Sor?ko polje. (Fitocenolo?ka in agronomska opredelitev plevelne vegetacije na intenzivno rabljenih njivah Kranjskega in Sor?kega polja.) In: Novi izzivi v poljedelstvu 2002. Zbornik simpozija, Ljubljana, Slovenia 5-6 decembra 2002. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Slovensko Agronomsko Drustvo (SAD), 368-372.

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2003. Flora of China Web. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard University Herbaria. http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/.

Freedman R, 1998. Famine Foods. Polygonaceae. USA: Purdue University. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/faminefoods/ff_families/POLYGONACEAE.html.

Grierson AJC; Long DG, 1983. Flora of Bhutan, Volume 1, Part 1. Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden.

Holm LG; Doll J; Holm E; Pancho JV; Herberger JP, 1997. World Weeds: Natural Histories and Distribution. New York, USA: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Holm LG; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DC, 1991. A Geographical Atlas of World Weeds. Malabar, Florida: Krieger.

INRA, 2001. Weed Science and Agronomy. HYPPA. Dijon, France: INRA. http://www.inra.fr/hyppa/hyppa-a/lamam_ah.htm.

James TK; Rahman A; Webster T; Waller J, 2002. Emergence of weeds as affected by vertical seed distribution in arable soils. New Zealand Plant Protection Volume 55, 2002. Proceedings of a conference, Centra Hotel, Rotorua, New Zealand, 13-15 August 2002, 213-217; 10 ref.

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