Mile-a-minute vine

Persicaria perfoliata

Invader Images

    • Mile-a-minute vine foliage
    • Mile-a-minute vine leaf and stem
    • Mile-a-minute vine infestation
    • Mile-a-minute vine flower
    • Mile-a-minute vine leaf shape
    • Flowers inside cup-like leaf bracts
    • Mile-a-minute fruiting spike, ocreae, and barbs

Identification

Appearance

Persicaria perfoliata is an herbaceous, annual vine that invades disturbed areas in Oregon and portions of the northeastern United States. The delicate stems are reddish, highly branched and covered with small, curved spines. Circular, leafy structures (ocreae) surround the stem at the base of the petioles. 

Foliage

The alternate leaves are triangular, light green, 1-3 in. (2.5-7.6 cm) wide and barbed on the undersurface. 

Flowers

Small, white, inconspicuous flowers arise from the ocreae. 

Fruit

Fruit are present in mid-July through the first frost, are metallic blue and segmented with each segment containing a single black or reddish black seed. 

Biology

This is considered a watch list species

Origin

Mile-a-minute vine is native to Eastern Asia and the Philippines and was introduced several times into the United States from the late 1800s to the 1930s. 

habitat

Man-made or disturbed sites, meadows, and fields. 

Life Cycle

Mile-a-minute weed is primarily a self-fertile plant and does not need any pollinators to produce viable seeds. Seed production takes place from June-October. Seeds can be viable in the soil for up to 6 years and can germinate at staggered intervals. Vines are killed by frost and the seeds overwinter in the soil. Mile-a-minute seeds require an 8 week cooling period (at temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius) in order to flower. Germination happens in early April through early July.

Seeds are dispersed by birds, deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and even one species of ant.

Mile-a-minute weed seeds can float for 7-9 days, which allows for long distance movement in water. This movement can be amplified during storms when vines hanging over waterways drop their fruit into fast moving waters, which then spread the seeds throughout a watershed.

Ecological Threat

Mile-a-minute vine invades open disturbed areas such as fields, forest edges, roadsides, ditches and stream banks. Its rapid growth allows it to cover existing vegetation and restrict light availability, potentially killing plants below. Dense mats of the vine restrict establishment of new vegetation.

Management Options

Mechanical control

Hand-pulling of vines can be effective. Pulling vines before the barbs harden is recommended - otherwise, you will need thick gloves to handle the plant. Pull and bale vines and roots as early in the season as possible. Let the piles of vines dry out completely before disposing of them. Later in the season, vines must be pulled with caution as the fruit could be knocked off and spread more easily at this point. Collected plants can be burned, left to dry and piled on site, or bagged and landfilled (least preferred). Be sure to monitor any piles left on site throughout the year. 

chemical control

Mile-a-minute vine can be controlled with commonly used herbicides in moderate doses. Mile-a-minute vine can grow over the top of desirable vegetation thus making it a challenge to spray only the mile-a-minute vine. Use pre-emergent herbicides (herbicides that prevent seed germination) with extensive infestations, often in combination with spot treatments of post-emergent herbicides (herbicides applied to the growing plant) for seedlings that escape control. Small populations are better controlled with post-emergent herbicides. 

biological control

The mile-a-minute weevil, Rhinocominus latipes Korotyaev, is a 2 mm long, black weevil that feeds on mile-a-minute vine. It is often covered by an exuded orange film produced from the mile-a-minute plants it feeds on. The weevil's feeding can stunt the growth of mile-a-minute vine. The mile-a-minute weevil has been successfully released and recovered in several locations in the U.S. As with all biological control, it takes a long time to determine effectiveness. That said, biological control of mile-a-minute weed is currently the most promising and cost effective method of management. 

 

**Be careful not to damage or kill nearby native plants when conducting management work. And when using herbicides, always follow the instructions on the label.**

Citations

Photo credit

Mile-a-minute vine foliage, 5480285, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org.

Mile-a-minute vine leaf and stem, 5480267, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Mile-a-minute vine infestation, 5480363, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Mile-a-minute vine flower, 5480388,  Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Mile-a-minute vine leaf shape, 5480309,  Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Mile-a-minute fruiting spike, ocreae, and barbs, 5273091, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Mile-a-minute vine flowers inside cup-like leaf bracts, 0581048, Jil Swearingen, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org

information credit

Center for Invasive Species and Forest Health, Mile-a-minute vine

GoBotony, Mile-a-minute vine

New York Invasive Species Information, Mile-a-minute vine

University of Delaware