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Asiatic Tearthumb

Persicaria perfoliata


Asiatic Tearthumb (AKA: Mile-a-Minute, Devil's Tail or Giant Climbing Tearthumb) spotted near Mount Fuji, Japan, growing on the bank of Saiko Lake. Persicaria perfoliata has a reddish stem that is armed with downward pointing hooks or barbs which are also present on the underside of the leaf blades. The light green leaves are shaped like an equilateral (equal-sided) triangle and alternate along the narrow, delicate stems. Distinctive circular, cup-shaped leafy structures, called ocreass, surround the stem at intervals. Flower buds, and later flowers and fruits, emerge from within the ocreas. Flowers are small, white and generally inconspicuous. The edible fruits are attractive, metallic blue and segmented, each segment containing a single glossy, black or reddish-black seed.


Persicaria perfoliata prefers warm open areas, along the edges of woods, wetlands, stream banks, and roadsides, and uncultivated open fields, resulting from both natural and human causes, dense wooded areas where the overstory has opened up increasing the sunlight to the forest floor. Natural areas such as stream banks, parks, open space, road shoulders, forest edges and fence lines are all typical areas to find P. perfoliata. It also occurs in environments that are extremely wet with poor soil structure.


In traditional Chinese medicine, Persicaria perfoliata is known as gangbangui and is thought to be useful for various remedies in herbal medicine. It can also be used as a fiber or used in rope making.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Mauron 3 years ago
Persicaria perfoliata Persicaria perfoliata - Wikipedia

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Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 3 years ago

Those colors hardly look possible. Great spotting.

Machi 3 years ago

I think it is likely unrelated but hopefully someone else can help. Leaf shape is really interesting as well as the thorns...

SukanyaDatta 3 years ago

Yes I noticed that the leaves are different...but since the spotting does not show details...and the plant is native to Japan...the odds are at least the genus is OK. And maybe it will spur someone to ID it better.

Machi 3 years ago

Sukanya, I don't think this is porcelainberry. Though the color is similar, the berries themselves lack the spots and the leaves and stem look very different.

Machi 3 years ago

Amazing colors! It would help to see the whole plant, especially leaves and size perspective. I hope someone else can help you ID this wonderful plant.

Spotted by

中部地方, Japan

Spotted on Oct 14, 2019
Submitted on Oct 14, 2019

Spotted for Mission

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