When Mile-a-Minute Attacks

Climbing over everything and quickly.

Mile-a-minute weed, a member of the buckwheat family, is an annual vine native to eastern Asia. It found its way to the U.S. in the 1930s, at a plant nursery in Pennsylvania, and has since spread for several hundred miles in every direction. Today, it’s found from Virginia to northern New York.

Mile-a-minute grows rapidly, scrambling over shrubs and other plants with the help of sharp, recurved barbs that grow along its stems and the undersides of its leaf blades. The vine has light green leaves shaped like equal-sided triangles that alternate along delicate stems. It has small, white flowers and deep-blue, berry-like fruits that each contain a hard seed.

When mile-a-minute grows, it puts your woods at risk. The vine climbs over other vegetation, blocking the foliage of these plants from sunlight and eventually weakening them. It also distorts the stems and branches of the plants it covers, and ultimately it can kill them. This process can destroy tree seedlings in your forest.

Uh oh. I have mile-a-minute weeds. What do I do?

The first step is not to panic! Mile-a-minute may be difficult to eradicate, but there are several options available to help you control it.

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