The weed is primarily a self-pollinating plant (supported by its inconspicuous, closed flowers and lack of a detectable scent), with occasional outcrossing. Fruits and viable seeds are produced without assistance from pollinators. Vegetative propagation from roots has not been successful for this plant. It is a very tender annual , reproducing successfully from July until the first frost, after which it withers. Stahl (2002) states that until frost, the plant can grow up to 6mtrs (20 feet) long (15cms (6 inches) per day), bearing about 50-100 seeds. The species may exhibit a bet-hedging strategy by producing a small peak of production in July (which may safeguard production in years of severe drought ) and a large peak of production in September (which coincides with major bird migration). Seed production can reach 66 per square meter on the date of peak production. Seed germination after 1, 2, and 3 years buried in forest soils was 96%, 25%, and 33%, respectively, which indicates that the species forms a long-term seed bank (Van Clef and Stiles, 2001). ed: Friday, 29 October 2004
Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in English:
Asiatic Tear Thumb, Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil's-Tail Tearthumb, Mile-A-Minute Weed, Mile-A-Minute-Vine, Minuteweed, Tearthumb
Common Names in Japanese:
, or small trees
, sometimes monoecious or dioecious. Stems erect
, or scandent
, often with swollen nodes, striate
, or prickly. Leaves simple
, alternate, rarely opposite or whorled
; stipules often united
to a sheath
(ocrea) . Inflorescence terminal
, racemose, paniculate
, or capitate. Pedicel occasionally articulate
. Flowers small, actinomorphic
, rarely unisexual
. Perianth 3-6-merous, in 1 or 2 series, herbaceous, often enlarged in fruit or inner tepals enlarged, with wings
, or spines. Stamens usually (3-) 6-9, rarely more; filaments
or united at base
2-loculed, opening lengthwise; disk annular
) . Ovary superior, 1-loculed; styles 2 or 3, rarely 4, free or connate
at lower part. Fruit a trigonous
, or biconcave
achene; seed with straight or curved
embryo and copious
About 50 genera and 1120 species: worldwide, but primarily N temperate with a few species in tropical regions ; 13 genera (two endemic) and 238 species (65 endemic) in China.
, or subshrubs
in P. striatulum), homophyllous
, sometimes heterocarpic; roots
or woody. Stems prostrate
or sometimes papillous-scabridulous. Leaves cauline, alternate (opposite in P. humifusum), petiolate
or sessile; ocrea with distal part persistent
, often hyaline
, white or silvery, 2-lobed, chartaceous
, glabrous, disintegrating into fibers, or disintegrating completely; petiole
articulated with ocrea or not; blade
, lanceolate, elliptic
, or subround, margins
entire. Inflorescences axillary
or axillary and terminal
, spikelike, or flowers solitary; peduncle absent. Pedicels present or absent. Flowers bisexual
, 1-7(-10) per ocreate
fascicle, base not stipelike; perianth nonaccrescent, white or greenish white to pink, campanulate
, glabrous; tepals 5, connate
3-70% of their length
or, rarely, dimorphic
, the inner usually flat, the outer flat or sometimes keeled
distally, sometimes of different length than the inner; stamens 3-8 (some may be reduced to staminodes) ; filaments
to perianth tube, glabrous; anthers
whitish yellow, pink to purple or orange-pink, elliptic to oblong
; styles (2-) 3, mostly spreading
, distinct or connate proximally; stigmas 2-3, capitate. Achenes included
or exserted, yellow-green, brown, or black, unwinged, (2-) 3-gonous, glabrous. Seeds: embryo curved
. x = 10.
Species ca. 65: nearly worldwide.
Two sections of Polygonum are recognized here. Section Polygonum is nearly cosmopolitan and best represented in north-temperate regions; sect. Duravia comprises species restricted to North America. K . Haraldson (1978) recognized both sections based on differences in stem morphology, petiole structure, and pollen morphology. J. C. Hickman (1984) described sect. Monticola and included in it species of sect. Duravia occurring mostly in montane habitats , with leaves articulated to the ocreae, one-veined, and not mucronate , proximal leaves lanceolate to round , and styles connate at their bases and neither hardened nor persistent. L.-P. Ronse Decraene and J. R. Akeroyd (1988) and L.-P. Ronse Decraene et al. (2000) included sect. Duravia in sect. Polygonum based on floral and fruit characters.
Similarities in floral structure, fruit anatomy, and pollen morphology have been noted between Polygonella with Polygonum (L.-P. Ronse Decraene et al. 2000). Based on evidence from comparative morphological studies, Ronse Decraene et al. (2004) included Polygonella in sect. Duravia of Polygonum.
Four introduced taxa of sect. Polygonum that were collected in the flora area at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century appear not to have persisted here and are not included in the keys . Polygonum arenarium Waldstein & Kitaibel and P. bellardii Allioni were reported by B . L. Robinson (1902) from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, respectively. The former resembles P. patulum but has open flowers. Polygonum bellardii is discussed below under P. ramosissimum. Polygonum polycnemoides Jaubert & Spach and P. humifusum C. Merck ex K. Koch subsp. humifusum were reported by J. F. Brenckle (1941). The former was collected in New York City in 1894 and in Idaho in 1940. It differs from all other Polygonum species in having a tube 55-70% of the perianth length. Polygonum humifusum subsp. humifusum is discussed below under P. humifusum subsp. caurianum.
Species Polygonum perfoliatum
Herbs annual . Stems trailing , red-brown, 0.8-2 m , branched, angulate , with retrorse prickles along angles . Petiole 3-8 cm, sparsely retrorsely prickly; leaf blade triangular-peltate, 4-6 × 5-8 cm, abaxially usually sparsely retrorsely prickly along veins, adaxially glabrous , base truncate or subcordate , apex subacute ; ocrea tubular , with green herbaceous orbicular wing at apex, 1.5-3 cm in diam. Inflorescence terminal or axillary , spicate , 1-3 cm; bracts ovate-orbicular, each 2-4-flowered. Perianth white or pinkish, 5-parted; tepals elliptic , ca. 3 mm, in fruit dark blue, accrescent , fleshy . Stamens 8, in 2 whorls, included . Styles 3, connate at middle . Achenes included in persistent perianth, black, shiny, globose , 3-4 mm in diam. Fl. Jun-Aug, fr. Jul-Oct. [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: April, May, June. • Flower Color: green
Size: 8-10' tall.
Near fields and roads, wet valleys; 100-2300 m .
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 4,028 meters (0 to 13,215 feet).
Ecology: Invasive: rapidly overtakes shrubs and trees , seeds dispersed by water.
Culture: Space 24-36" apart.
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade.
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: Not Applicable (map)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Perleb, 1826
- A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons.
- knotweed, renouées
- C. Linnaeus, 1753
- Knotweed [Greek poly, many, and gony, knee joint (traditional interpretation), or gone, seed (grammatically correct interpretation)]
- Specific epithet:
- Botanical name: - Polygonum perfoliatum L.
- Form: a href="http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/title/4
- Specific epithet: perfoliatum - L.
- Genus: Polygonum () - C. Linnaeus, 1753 - Knotweed [Greek poly, many, and gony, knee joint (traditional interpretation), or gone, seed (grammatically correct interpretation)]
- Tribe: Polygoneae ()
- Subfamily: Polygonoideae ()
- Family: Polygonaceae () - A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons. - knotweed, renouées
- Order: Caryophyllales () - Perleb, 1826
- Superorder: Polygonanae () - Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Subclass: Caryophyllidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Ampelygonum perfoliatum (L.) Roberty & Vautier • Chylocalyx perfoliatus (L.) Hassk. Ex Miq. • Echinocaulon Perfoliatum • Echinocaulon perfoliatum (L.) Meisn. Ex Hassk. • Fagopyrum perfoliatum (L.) Raf. • Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Dcne. • Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross • Pleuropterus cuspidatus (Sieb. & Zucc.) Moldenke • Pleuropterus zuccarinii (Small) Small • Polygonum Arifolium Perfoliatum • Polygonum cuspidatum var. compactum (Hook F.) Bailey • Polygonum zuccarinii Small • Reynoutria japonica Houtt. • Tracaulon perfoliatum (L.) Greene • Truellum Perfoliatum
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 15-Mar-2000
Members of the genus Polygonum
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 134 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:
P. achoreum (Leathery Knotweed) · P. acuminatum (Tapertip Smartweed) · P. affine (Himalayan Fleece Flower) · P. alpinum (Alaska Wild Rhubarb) · P. amphibium (Longroot Smartweed) · P. amphibium var. emersum (Longroot Smartweed) · P. amphibium var. stipulaceum (Swamp Smartweed) · P. arenarium (European Knotweed) · P. arenastrum (Common Knotweed) · P. argyrocoleon (Persian Knotweed) · P. arifolium (Halberdleaf Tearthumb) · P. aubertii (Chinese Fleecevine) · P. aubertii 'Lemon Lace' (Silverlace Vine) · P. aviculare (Birdgrass) · P. aviculare angustissimum (Prostrate Knotweed) · P. aviculare aviculare (Prostrate Knotweed) · P. aviculare neglectum (Prostrate Knotweed) · P. baldschuanicum (Bukhara Fleeceflower) · P. bellardii (Narrowleaf Knotweed) · P. bidwelliae (Bidwell's Knotweed) · P. bistorta (Meadow Bistort) · P. bistorta carneum (Meadow Bistort) · P. bistorta var. bistorta (Meadow Bistort) · P. bistorta var. plumosum (Meadow Bistort) · P. bistorta 'Superbum' (European Bistort) · P. bistortoides (American Bistort) · P. bohemicum (Bohemian Knotweed) · P. bolanderi (Bolander's Knotweed) · P. boreale (Northern Knotweed) · P. bungeanum (Bunge's Smartweed) · P. buxiforme (Box Knotweed) · P. caespitosum (Bristled Knotweed) · P. caespitosum var. caespitosum (Oriental Ladysthumb) · P. caespitosum var. longisetum (Oriental Ladysthumb) · P. californicum (California Knotweed) · P. campanulatum (Bellflower Smartweed) · P. capathifolium (Grey Moray) · P. capitatum (Pink Knotweed) · P. careyi (Carey's Smartweed) · P. cascadense (Cascade Knotweed) · P. caurianum (Alaska Knotweed) · P. chinense (Chinese Knotweed) · P. cilinode (Fringed Black Bindweed) · P. convolvulus (Black Bindweed) · P. convolvulus var. convolvulus (Knot Grass) · P. convolvulus var. subulatum (Wild Buckwheat) · P. cuspidatum 'Crimson Beauty' (False Bamboo) · P. cuspidatum 'Devon Cream' (False Bamboo) · P. cuspidatum 'Freckles' (Speckled Mexican Bamboo) · P. cuspidatum 'Variegata' (Speckled Mexican Bamboo) · P. davisiae (Davis' Knotweed) · P. densiflorum (Denseflower Knotweed) · P. douglasii (Douglas Knotweed) · P. douglasii nuttalii (Douglas´s Knotweed) · P. douglasii var. douglasii (Douglas´s Knotweed) · P. douglasii subsp. austiniae (Austin's Knotweed) · P. douglasii subsp. engelmannii (Engelmann's Knotweed) · P. douglasii subsp. johnstonii (Johnston's Knotweed) · P. douglasii subsp. majus (Large Knotweed) · P. douglasii subsp. nuttallii (Nuttall's Knotweed) · P. douglasii subsp. spergulariiforme (Scatter Knotweed) · P. emersum (Longroot Smartweed) · P. equisetiforme (Horsetail Knotgrass) · P. erectum (Devil's Shoestring) · P. fowleri (Fowler's Knotweed) · P. franktonii (Nova Scotia Knotweed) · P. glaucum (Seaside Knotweed) · P. herniarioides (Knotweed) · P. heterosepalum (Oddsepal Knotweed) · P. hickmanii (Hickman's Knotweed) · P. hirsutum (Hairy Smartweed) · P. hydropiper (Annual Smartweed) · P. hydropiperoides (Mild Water-Pepper) · P. islandicum (Island Purslane) · P. lacerum (Fringed Knotweed) · P. lapathifolium (Curltop Ladysthumb) · P. lapathifolium var. lapathifolium (Curltop Ladysthumb) · P. leptocarpum (Narrow-Point Knotweed) · P. marinense (Marin Knotweed) · P. meisnerianum (Branched Tearthumb) · P. meisnerianum var. beyrichianum (Branched Tearthumb) · P. minimum (Broadleaf Knotweed) · P. mite (Tasteless Water Pepper) · P. multiflorum (Fo-Ti) · P. nepalense (Nepalese Smartweed) · P. odoratum (Vietnamese Coriander) · P. orientale (Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate) · P. orientale 'Shiro-Gane Nishiki' (Variegated Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate) · P. oxyspermum (Sharpfruit Knotweed) · P. oxyspermum raii (Sharpfruit Knotweed) · P. paronychia (Beach Knotweed) · P. paronychioides (Knotweed) · P. parryi (Parry's Knotweed) · P. patulum (Bellard's Smartweed) · P. pensylvanicum (Pennsylvania Knotweed) · P. perfoliatum (Asiatic Tear Thumb) · P. persicaria (Lady's Thumb) · P. persicaria persicaria (Lady's-Thumb) · P. phytolaccifolium (Mountain Lice) · P. polycnemoides (Manyleg Knotweed)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 14, 2007:
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden
- Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility, Magnoliophyta
- USDA PLANTS, USDA PLANTS Database
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2647042
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-20914
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13740768
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:696233-1
- GRIN Nomen Number: 29263
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 20914
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: POPE10
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 10701
- Anjen Li, Bojian Bao, Alisa E. Grabovskaya-Borodina, Suk-pyo Hong, John McNeill, Sergei L. Mosyakin, Hideaki Ohba & Chong-wook Park "Polygonaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 5 Page 277. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Mihai Costea, François J. Tardif, Harold R. Hinds "Polygonum". in Flora of North America Vol. 5. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- "Polygonum perfoliatum". in Flora of China Vol. 5 Page 311. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Mean = 833.440 meters (2,734.383 feet), Standard Deviation = 1,291.090 based on 32 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]