Mile-a-minute vine

Fact SheetPersicaria perfoliata

Images of this species:

Common look-alikes:



Persicaria perfoliata is an herbaceous, annual vine that invades disturbed areas. 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. 


The alternate leaves are triangular, light green, 1-3 inches wide and barbed on the undersurface. 


Small, white, inconspicuous flowers arise from the ocreae (a structure formed of stipules fused into a sheath surrounding the stem). 


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. Seeds can remain viable for up to 6 years.



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, possibly by seeds in nursery stock.


open and disturbed areas with a preference for very wet soil. Typical infestation areas include stream banks, open fields, roadsides, forest edges, and fence lines. Mile-a-minute weed thrives with abundant sunlight and uses its recurved barbs to attach to and climb over other plants.

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.

Fruits are eaten by birds, deer and small mammals which can spread seeds miles away from the original plant.

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

This species can grow up to 25 feet in six to eight weeks. Dense, prickly thickets overtake native vegetation. Christmas tree farms, orchards, reforestation and restoration areas are at risk because of the vine’s propensity to smother tree
and plant seedlings. Seeds may survive in the soil for up to six years.

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. 

  • Be careful not to damage or kill nearby native plants when conducting management work.
  • Always read and follow pesticide label directions. Application of pesticides may require a certification from the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Agency website provides information on what applicator certification is needed.

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. 

Vermont Distribution

One confirmed report in Chittenden County in 2023. Staff from VAAFM, FPR and F&W collaborated to eradicate detected population. Follow up monitoring is planned.

How You Can Help

Mile-a-minute is on the early detection list of plant species. Early detection of new infestations increases our ability to slow their spread and potentially eradicate them from affected areas.

Report an observation


Photo credit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hedge bindweed flower, 1479326, Alex Katovich,

Hedge bindweed leaf, 5399268, Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft.,

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