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Weed Seed: Persicaria perfoliata (Devil's-tail tearthumb)

Invasive Plant - Devil's-tail tearthumb (Persicaria perfoliata)



Common name

Devil's-tail tearthumb


Prohibited Noxious, Class 1 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act. All imported and domestic seed must be free of Prohibited Noxious weed seeds.

Listed on the List of Pests Regulated by Canada established under the Plant Protection Act.


Canadian: Previously reported from BC but did not persist (CFIA 2012Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Native to eastern Asia and introduced to Türkiye, the West Indies and the United States, where it is found in the northeastern states and in Oregon (CFIA 2012Footnote 1, USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2).

Duration of life cycle


Seed or fruit type

Achene, may be in a perianth

Identification features



Surface texture


Other features

Habitat and crop association

Riparian areas as well as a wide variety of disturbed areas, including roadsides, hedges, fields, pasture and forest edges, early successional forests, plantations, gardens and parks (CFIA 2012Footnote 1).

General information

Devil's-tail tearthumb was introduced into the eastern United States in the 1940s with contaminated nursery stock (Poindexter 2010Footnote 3). It prefers moist to wet soils and is known for its rapid growth as well as its ability to suppress other species by smothering or shading (CABI 2016Footnote 4). Large infestations of devil's-tail tearthumb hamper movement due to its dense prickles (CABI 2016Footnote 4).

Similar species

Halberdleaf tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia)


Devil's-tail tearthumb (Persicaria perfoliata) achenes and perianth
Devil's-tail tearthumb (Persicaria perfoliata) achene with perianth
Devil's-tail tearthumb (Persicaria perfoliata) achene
Devil's-tail tearthumb (Persicaria perfoliata) achene

Similar species

Similar species: Halberdleaf tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia) achenes and perianths
Similar species: Halberdleaf tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia) achene
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