Alternate Common Names: Mile-a-minute Weed; Mile-a-minute; Devil’s or Asiatic
annual vine; branched, weak stems climb/sprawl densely over other plants
backward-hooked prickles on vine, flower stalks, leaf stalks and veins on
back of leaf
below each leaf, the angular vine stem is surrounded by a green,
leaves alternate; triangular; about 1"-3" long and as wide or wider than
leaf stalk attached to the back of the leaf near its base (peltate)
inconspicuous flowers clustered on short stem growing from the
fruit fleshy, berry-like; about 1/4" across; shiny, metallic blue when
Mile-a-minute Vine seeds sprout in Spring and the vine grows rapidly to 20'
or 25'. It continues to produce flowers and fruits until killed by frost. The
leaves are frequently a perfect triangle, sometimes with slightly eared or
heart-shaped bases. The green, leaf-like, saucer-shaped ocreae and the fleshy
fruits distinguish Mile-a-minute Vine from native Tearthumb species (which also
have backward-hooking prickles). The leaves and ocreae (saucer-shaped sheaths
surrounding the stem) are light green or light bluish-green. The vine stems,
often reddish, are noticeable after the plant is frost killed. Fruits are light
green or purple before ripening to shiny, metallic blue;
and may be found on dead vines.
Mile-a-minute Vine seeds sprout best on sites covered by decayed leaf mulch.
For vigorous growth, the seedlings need full sun. The vine smothers herbaceous
plants, shrubs, and young trees in open areas such as meadows, forest edges,
logged forests, streambanks, and utility rights-of-way. The fruits float and are
eaten by birds, small mammals, and deer.