Photo guide to weeds

Mikania vine (Mikania spp.)

  • Image of mikania vine
    Mikania vine flowers
  • Close up photograph of the pinkish white blooms of the Mikania vine
    Mikania vine seeds
  • Photograph of a single heart-shaped leaf of the mikania vine
    Mikania vine leaf
  • Image of mikania vine
    Mikania vine

Pest alert

If you have seen this plant, contact the Customer Service Centre

General information

There are many species of Mikania, most native to the Americas, and many are serious weeds elsewhere in the world. Mikania micrantha is also known as 'mile-a-minute' weed because it rapidly chokes and smothers areas it has colonised.

Biosecurity Queensland encourages people report this Class 1 pest plant to help stop the establishment, prevent the spread, and to control this pest.

Overview

Scientific name

Mikania micrantha

Other names
  • Mile-a-minute, bitter vine, American rope, Chinese creeper, climbing hemp vine
Similar species
  • Climbing groundsels
Description
  • Multi-stemmed perennial vine creeper and climber.
  • Leaves are heart-shaped, 4-13cm long, taper to an acute point, arranged in opposite pairs along the stem.
  • Stems are slender, ribbed, bear fine with white hairs.
  • Leaf stalk is 2-8cm long.
  • Four individual flower heads, 4-6mm long, white to greenish-white.
  • Seeds black, 1.5-2mm long, thin, 5-angled.
Habitat
  • Thrives in humid environments where rainfall exceeds 1000mm per annum.
  • Prefers rich damp soils.
Distribution
  • Native to Central and South America.
  • Serious weed in West Africa through to India, South-East Asia, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands.
  • First found in Australia in 1998 at Ingham and Bingil Bay.
  • Potential distribution in Australia includes the coastal regions of the Northern Territory, northern Western Australia, much of eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales.
Life cycle
  • Flowering can occur anytime between May and October.
Spread
  • Ability to reproduce both by seed and vegetatively.
  • Produces large quantities of seed (40 000 seeds per plant per year) that can be transported by wind, water, machinery or animals.
  • Highly successful at vegetative reproduction and young shoots may be easily transported by flood or machinery; small plant fragments containing a node readily produce roots when in contact with moist soil.
Impacts Environmental
  • Spreads rapidly and smothers native vegetation.
  • Threatens World Heritage listed forests of North Queensland.
Economic
  • Invades plantation and agricultural crops and commercial forests in other countries.
Prevention
  • The best form of weed control is prevention. Treat weed infestations when they are small - do not allow weeds to establish.
  • Ways to prevent weed spread
Control
  • Target of a national eradication program.
  • New infestations must be reported to the Biosecurity Queensland, phone 13 25 23 be identified and removed by approved officers.
  • Record locations prior to removal.

Biological control

  • There is no biological control agent available in Australia for mikania vine.
Declaration details
  • A declared Class 1 species under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002.
  • Not commonly present or established in Queensland and has the potential to cause impacts to whole or part of the State.
  • Introduction, keeping, releasing and supplying (including supplying things containing reproductive material of this pest) is not possible without a permit, for special purposes, issued by Biosecurity Queensland.

Last updated 11 December 2012