Mile-a-Minute Vine

Mile-a-minute Vine (Scientific name: Persicaria perfoliata, formerly Polygonum perfoliatum) is a highly invasive annual weed spreading across Connecticut.

It outcompetes and outgrows native species, causing ecological and economic harm. The vine scrambles over other vegetation and can climb trees and posts.

Mile-a-minute is deserving of its common name and its reputation as “the Kudzu of the North”—a single vine can grow up to 6 inches per day.

Mile-a-minute can cause major ecological problems:

  • overgrows and outcompetes other plants, shading out native vegetation
  • forms dense mats interfering with forest regeneration and seedling establishment
  • grows up to 6 inches per day in ideal conditions (1/4 inch per hour over 24 hours if growth were constant)

This species has been listed by the CT Legislature (Sec. 22a-381d of the CT General Statues makes it illegal to transport, cultivate, sell or distribute the species), but populations are still spreading through natural areas and perhaps even in your own backyard or garden!

THREE IDENTIFYING TRAITS:

  1. Leaves shaped like triangles
    Mile-a-minute Vine (MAM) has distinctly triangular leaves. The leaves are approximately equilateral without lobes or indentations. Other plants may have similar vining habits and/or barbs but different leaf shapes.
  2. Curved prickles or barbs
    Mile-a-minute Vine has small barbs along the stems and leaf petioles and sometimes along the leaf midribs. (Also, please note the blue and green fruits in the picture, which may be present after mid-July.)
  3. Saucer-shaped leaves at nodes (ocrea)
    Mile-a-minute Vine has small saucer-shaped leaves called ocrea at nodes and branching points.

Please help us find, track and control this plant in Connecticut.

With your help, we can organize and coordinate the removal of Mile-a-minute Vine before it becomes an even bigger and more costly problem.
If you observe a plant with all three traits, note its location and report your findings:
Contact the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) at 860-486-6448 (Donna Ellis, UCONN)
Or visit www.hort.uconn.edu/mam (click “Report MAM”)