Introduced Pests Outreach Project
PEST ALERT: Mile-a-minute Vine
(September 23, 2009)

Mile-a-minute vine (Polygonum perfoliatum), an invasive vine native to eastern Asia, has been confirmed in two new counties in Massachusetts.

Also known as "devil's tail" or "Asiatic tear-thumb," mile-a-minute vine was first discovered in Massachusetts in 2006 in two locations: Falmouth (Barnstable County) and Milton (Norfolk County). Through a multi-agency effort to uncover new populations of this pervasive weed before it becomes established in Massachusetts, mile-a-minute vine has now been confirmed in the towns of Greenfield and Erving (Franklin County) and in Littleton (Middlesex County).

The plants found in Greenfield were removed once identification was confirmed, and state officials will continue to monitor the site over the next several years to remove any new seedlings that are found. The mile-a-minute vine population in Erving is currently being assessed to determine the best way to manage it. In addition, a report from Boston this past August led state officials to two seedlings which were immediately removed, and a survey of the area revealed no other mile-a-minute plants. The previously known populations of mile-a-minute vine in Milton and Falmouth are being monitored by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and are currently under eradication.

Mile-a-minute vine can be recognized by its perfectly triangular leaves, barbed stems, and clusters of metallic-blue berries. If left alone, this vine can quickly cover large areas, scrambling over other plants as well as fences and other structures. Several other vines may be confused with this invasive species, including bindweed, fleecevine, and Asiatic bittersweet. The University of Connecticut website offers a comparison of similar species.

For more information about mile-a-minute vine, or to report a potential sighting in Massachusetts, visit our mile-a-minute vine fact sheet, or call 617-626-1779.

To sign up for pest and pathogen alerts from the Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project, visit this page.

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program. This website was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.