Mile-a-Minute weed growth
Image by Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

A look at Mile-a-Minute weed growth

Mile-A-Minute Weed

Mile-A-Minute Weed is a fast-growing, barbed vine from the Buckwheat family gets its name from its ability to grow up to 6 inches per day. It is native to India and Eastern Asia and was accidently introduced to the United States through contaminated Holly seeds in York County, PA in the 1930s. In New York, Mile-a-Minute weed has been recorded in counties south of the Northern Connecticut. It is estimated that Mile-a-Minute currently grows in about 20% of its potential U.S. range and can potentially expand to cooler areas as the seeds only require about a two-month cold period to flower.

This vine is considered a threat to native vegetation and habitats in natural areas, industries such as Christmas Tree plantations and landscape nurseries as well as reforestation areas and young forest stands.

This annual vine has light green leaves that are 4-9 cm long and wide and are shaped like an equilateral triangle. The narrow green vines and the underside of the leaves are covered with recurved barbs which support the plants vertical climb.

Mile-a-minute grows in dense mats that covers other plants which weakens them by smothering and in some cases, physically damaging them. This also prevents sunlight from passing through to reach the covered plant and restricts its ability to photosynthesize which can eventually kill the overtopped plant.

Management of Mile-a-Minute Weed can depend on the level of infestation at the site and the conditions of the specific site. Once the plant infestation has been removed, on-going monitoring and management is necessary for up to 6 years to ensure that no seeds remain in the soil.

A biological control for this species is the Mile-a-Minute weevil, a 2 mm black weevil that is host specific in feeding to Mile-a-Minute weed and has been successfully released and recovered to maintain Mile-a-Minute infested sites.

Hand-pulling of vines can be effective but caution must be considered to the fruit that can spread easily and proper disposal of the plant through drying, incineration or burning and or bagged and landfilled. Low populations of Mile-a-Minute weed can be eliminated through repeated mowing or cutting. Chemical controls of Mile-a-Minute weed can be controlled with commonly used herbicides used in moderation however, is an undesirable method as spraying herbicide can damage the natural vegetation that is being overtopped by the Mile-a-Minute Weed.


Mile-a-Minute Weed Fact Sheet [PDF], Long Island Invasive Species Management Association. This document outlines the issue with Mile-a-Minute weed, its history, distribution and a brief overview of potential control methods and management options.

Mile-A-Minute Species Page, New York Invasive Species Information. This webpage explored the biology, habitat and provides users with a distribution of Mile-a-Minute throughout New York.

Mile-a-Minute Weed, National Invasive Species Information Center, United States Department of Agriculture. This webpage highlights research in management methods of Mile-a-Minute weed, comprehensive maps and surveys as well as a brief overview of the species and other resources. 

Last updated April 13, 2022