One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

It’s a beautiful blue berry–

–but what is it?

Leave me a guess in the comments and I’ll check back later with your answer!

~~~

We’ve posted this plant before, but not shown its fall berry. Here’s a photo clue with the leaves.

Mile-a-Minute Weed, Persicaria perfoliata, is an invasive plant that grows like the name suggests–very quickly. It also is sometimes called tearthumb or Asiatic Tearthumb, which is a good name with those little thorns.  A post we made a year ago in the summer contains links to learn more, but you should be wary if you see this pretty berry and its triangular leaf. And you should pull it before it looks like this:

Or this, covering your native plants like it has on our nearby golf course.

It’s sad, because under that mess were some nice blackberry bushes.

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Mile-A-Minute Weed, a serious invasive

A human reader mentioned watching out for invasive species in the comments of our Ox-eye Daisy post last week. Plants like Ox-eye Daisy and Queen Anne’s Lace that became naturalized in our fields decades ago aren’t as big of a threat to nature as new plants that are taking over. One of the worst is Mile-a-Minute Weed, Persicaria perfoliata.

Mile-A-Minute Weed Leaves

The leaves are quite distinctive–a triangle. Note the barbs on the stem. Nothing else looks like Mile-A-Minute Weed.

While it may not really travel a mile in a minute, this vigorous vine can grow six inches in a day and will smother wildflower and  shrubs.

Mile-A-Minute

That should be enough to convince you to pull those little triangular leaves any time, any place you see them. If you need to know more, here’s the New York Invasive Species information on Mile-A-Minute. Good photos!

Mile-A-Minute Weed

Miz Flora asked us to put out a warning to all you humans: if you see this plant with the triangular leaves, pull it immediately.

Mile-A-Minute

Mile-A-Minute, Persicaria perfoliata, is a vine that will take over ‘in a minute’. Not really, but you get the idea. It is an invasive that Miz Flora is twitching her tail over. She’s seeing it more and more and is very disturbed to think all of Virginia might be covered with it.

The vine appears rather delicate, but has many little teeth along its stem, and triangular leaves.

Mile-A-Minute Weed Leaves

Very triangular leaves.

Mile-A-Minute Weed Leaves

We could go into all the details, but Miz Flora says this website does it much better: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pepe1.htm

Thanks for your help in removing this invasive plant!