Mile-a-minute is an herbaceous, annual, trailing vine that can reach lengths of six meters or more. Its stems are covered with barbs which are also present on the underside of the leaf blades. The light green-colored leaves are triangle-shaped and alternate along the stem. Iridescent blue berry-like fruits are produced beginning in mid-summer and continuing until the plants are killed by frost in the fall. The seeds within these fruits can remain viable in the soil for up to six years.
Confirmed observations of Mile-a-minute submitted to the NYS Invasive Species Database. For more information, visit iMapInvasives
Mile-a-minute typically colonizes open and disturbed areas such as forested floodplains, stream-side wetlands, upland forests, uncultivated fields, and roadsides. Although mile-a-minute will tolerate some shade, it does best in full sunlight.
Threats & Impacts:
Mile-a-minute has gained a reputation as “the kudzu of the North” for its ability to quickly grow over and outcompete native plant species. In ideal growing conditions, a single vine can grow as much as 6″ per day. Because it can smother tree seedlings, mile-a-minute weed can have a negative effect on tree farms, forestry operations, and reforestation of natural areas.
The most common management methods for mile-a-minute include manual pulling of juvenile plants and selective herbicide treatments. There are also biological control weevils of the species Rhinoncomimus latipes that are currently being used for mile-a-minute control.