Asiatic tearthumb

Persicaria perfoliata


Photo credit: ©Jianqing Ding
Common name:
  • Asiatic tearthumb, mile-a-minute weed

  • It is usually found in open areas along the edges of woods, wetlands, riverbanks, roadsides, and uncultivated fields where it scrambles over shrubs and other vegetation, blocking out the light, and eventually suffocating all that lies beneath.

  • The Asiatic tearthumb – sometimes referred to as the mile-a minute plant – is a fast growing herbaceous vine native to Asia.

Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • It is native to Asia, including India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
  • It has been introduced to the United States of America, and Turkey; was recorded in Canada but populations failed to establish, and in New Zealand where the populations were eradicated.

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • Large infestations can reduce the biodiversity of natural habitats, resulting in the local extinction of rare native plants with restricted ranges. It can also cause economic losses to orchards, nurseries, and horticultural crops.
  • Although not yet established in the EU, the plant is already a major pest in other parts of the world, such as the US.

How did it it/could it get here?
  • Not present in the EU, but could be introduced by inter alia contaminated soil, plant or seed imports, and by rapidly eradicating any emerging invasion.

Is it found in Northern Ireland?
  • Not present in Northern Ireland.

You can help by reporting any sightings: @ the Centre for Environmental Data & Recording (CEDaR) - Or via the iRecord App.

Methods for prevention:
  • Concerted action at EU level will prevent the species from being introduced to Europe by addressing its introduction pathways, such as inter alia contaminated soil, plant or seed imports, and by rapidly eradicating any emerging invasion.
  • Report all sightings.

Current Legislative Position (Listed on 03 August 2016)
  • This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.
For further queries, you can contact the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558 or Email:  
Invasive Species Northern Ireland

Invasive Species Northern Ireland