DEEP: UCONN, CT DEP Step Up Campaign To Find And Fight Mile-A-Minute Vine, An Invasive Plant

June 9, 2009

UCONN, CT DEP Step Up Campaign To Find
And Fight Mile-A-Minute Vine, An Invasive Plant

Scientists and staff at the University of Connecticut (UConn) and the CT Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are teaming up to tackle a problematic invasive weed. Mile-a-minute vine (Persicaria perfoliata), sometimes referred to as "the Kudzu of the North" due to its fast growth and climbing habits, was originally found in Greenwich and has since spread to fifteen towns and cities in Connecticut. A new agreement between CT DEP and UConn makes mile-a-minute vine a top-priority species.

UConn and CT DEP are seeking the assistance of the public in locating populations of mile-a-minute vine in the state. The public is asked to report any sightings of this highly invasive plant.

A newly created website www.hort.uconn.edu/mam will serve as a public, central source of mile-a-minute vine information. This site features mile-a-minute vine fact sheets, identification guides and related web links, in addition to hosting a new reporting form designed to streamline incoming reports of the species when it is found in the state. The paperless reporting system will allow staff at UConn to follow up on mile-a-minute vine sightings on public or private property, confirm the vine’s identity, and provide control options.

Mile-a-minute vine outcompetes and overgrows native species, interferes with forest regeneration, disrupts normal ecosystem functioning, and can smother and shade out small seedlings of other species. Under ideal conditions, a single plant can grow up to 6 inches in a day—almost ¼ inch per hour if growth were constant in a 24-hour cycle. It is important to be sure the vine has been correctly identified before attempting removal. Many other species, including native plants, may be confused with mile-a-minute vine.

Visit www.hort.uconn.edu/mam for identification tips, photographs, and control information. You can also contact Logan Senack logan.senack@uconn.edu or Donna Ellis 860-486-6448; donna.ellis@uconn.edu for additional information.