Devil's Tail

Also known as:
Tearthumb, Asiatic Tearthumb, Polygonum Perfoliatum, Devil's Tear Thumb

General description

Fast growing, annual vine <7m, Can grow <15cm/day. Thin light green triangular leaves <7cm wide. Stalks & veins on leaf underside have downward pointing, curved barbs to help plant climb. Leaf-like cup of tissue at leaf stalk base. Inconspicuous flowers in small clusters on side branches. Metallic blue, berry-like fruits (autumn-winter).

Wet thickets, riversides, open & disturbed areas, forests margins, wetlands, roadsides.

Rapidly spreads locally by climbing.

Smothers host plants. Threat to wide range of native habitats.

Site management

Remove all fruits & follow up regularly.

Recommended approaches

1. Report it immediately to the Auckland Council Biosecurity team, who will arrange for its control at their expense.
2. Remove seedlings by hand before thorns develop.
3. Cut vines as close to root as possible & paint cut ends liberally (100ml glyphosate/L).
4. Spray large infestations where vegetation underneath is undesirable (100ml glyphosate/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Search tags

RPMS status

Total Control - Whole Region
devil's tail - Main species image