Connecticut Plants
Arrow Tearthumb
Persicaria sagittata (L.) H. Gross

Tearthumbs weak-stemmed sprawling annuals. They use backward-pointing hooks on the stem and leaves to help it climb over other plants. The hooks are also responsible for the name "tearthumb." Arrow tearthumb and halberd-leaved tearthumb can be distinguished by the shape of the leaves -- like narrow arrowheads on arrow tearthumb, and wider with spreading lobes at the base on halberd-leaved tearthumb.

  • Synonyms: Polygonum sagittatum L.
  • Family: buckwheat (Polygonaceae)
  • Habitat: marshes, wet thickets
  • Height: 2-4 feet
  • Flower size: 1/8 inch across
  • Flower color: pink or white
  • Flowering time: June to October
  • Origin: native
Polygonum sagittatum L.
Polygonum sagittatum L.

This arrow tearthumb plant was photographed at a botanical garden. In the wild, tearthumb clambers over and through other plants.

Polygonum sagittatum L.
Polygonum sagittatum L.

Arrow tearthumb has backward-pointed hooks on the stem and leaves.