Biology, general | Chemistry
Polygonum perfoliatum L. (Polygonaceae) or mile-a-minute weed, from eastern Asia, has been spreading through wild and disturbed areas of the mid-Atlantic United States. It has a wide ecological amplitude and is found on stream banks, moist thickets, roadsides, nurseries, wood-piles, clearings, and ditches. Polygonum perfoliatum presents serious problems for reforestation because it thrives where forests are clear-cut. A southward direction of spread indicates that the species will probably proliferate in at least some southern states. Mechanical control is not likely to be completely effective because seeds are often left behind. No appropriate biocontrols are known. The plant poses a threat to natural and restored ecosystems because of its capacity to grow rapidly and overgrow other species. It is expected to cover large areas unless it is controlled.