Study up … this is serious. Mile-a-minute vine – acronym MAM – is no joking matter. Mile-a-minute vine (Persicaria perfoliata) came by its common name quite naturally – it can grow 6 inches a day. This highly invasive vine, aka mile-a-minute weed or Devil’s tearthumb –has thumb-tearing barbs along its stem; it is a devil of a job to clear it away from any plant to which it has taken hold.
I’ve seen it and removed it from gardens I care for, but until now I was not aware of requests to report all possible sightings. Mile-a-minute vine has been officially identified in 15 CT towns. Horticulturists see it as a serious enough threat to devote a website to the identification, reporting, and eradication of mile-a-minute vine.
I’ve mentioned some of Connecticut’s invasive plants in previous posts. Eradication of these non-native threats requires time and commitment – as does anything worth doing. But first you need to know what is invasive and how best to remove and destroy each plant that threatens to overtake our native species. I cannot urge this strongly enough.
I’m devoting part of this rainy, foggy day to throw on a raincoat, waterproof shoes, and a pair of sturdy gloves so I can scout for, remove, and report any mile-a-minute vines I find. But I’ll also be clearing bittersweet vines, Japanese barberry and multiflora rose. I would like to think that my soon-to-be-born granddaughter will be able to enjoy the bloom of our native mountain laurels (Kalmia latifolia) when she is grown, just as we enjoy them now. When you think of future generations, it tends to give you some incentive to protect the things we have.