CFAES Give Today
Pesticide Safety Education Program

Ohio State University Extension


Mile-a-minute weed (Polygonum perfoliatum)

Mile-a-minute weed (Polygonum perfoliatum)

Description: Mile-a-minute weed is a herbaceous, trailing vine growing up to 24' in length, in the buckwheat family. Reddish stem are armed with downward pointing hoods or barbs.

Life cycle: Summer annual

Habitat: Right-of ways, edges of woods, wetlands, stream banks, roadsides and uncultivated open fields.

Leaf: Alternate, waxy, light green colored leaves with rough leaf margins, triangular to heart-shaped. A leaf-like sheath encircles the base of the stem.

Stem: Reddish in color with prickles 1-2 mm long.

Flower: Small, white and general inconspicuous, blooming late July to August.

Fruit: Attractive, berry-like, metallic blue and segmented, segments contain black or reddish-black seed.

Root: Shallow, fibrous root system.

The problem is...grows rapidly, scrambling over shrubs and other vegetation, blocking the foliage of covered from light. It is a threat to forest regeneration and infests recreational and residential areas.

Mil-a-minute weed seedling


leaves and flower

in fall