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Mikania vine

Alert

Have you seen Mikania vine?

Be on the lookout for Mikania vine and report it to Biosecurity Queensland. Early detection and reporting are the key elements in controlling Mikania vine.

Call us on 13 25 23.

Native to the Americas, mikania vine is a multi-stemmed perennial creeper and climber. It rapidly chokes and smothers areas it has colonised.

Mikania vine is a serious weed in West Africa, India, South East Asia, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands. In Australia, it has been found in North Queensland. Suitable growing conditions for mikania also exist in eastern Queensland, north-eastern New South Wales, northern Western Australia, and coastal regions of the Northern Territory.

Mikania vine is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

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 creeper and climber.
  • Leaves are heart-shaped, 4-13cm long, tapered to an acute point, arranged in opposite pairs along stem.
  • Stems are slender, ribbed, with fine white hairs.
  • Leaf stalk is 2-8cm long.
  • Flower heads are 4 individual heads, white to greenish-white, 4-6mm long.
  • Seeds are black, 1.5-2mm long, thin, 5-angled.

Habitat

  • Prefers humid environments where rainfall exceeds 1000mm per year.
  • Prefers rich, damp soils.

Distribution

  • First found in Australia in 1998 at Ingham and Bingil Bay in North Queensland.
  • Since detected at several locations at Mission Beach and one location near Speewah (near Mareeba).

Life cycle

  • Flowering occurs May-October.

Affected animals

  • Native animals

Impacts

Environmental

  • Spreads rapidly and smothers native vegetation.
  • Threatens World Heritage forests of North Queensland.

Economic

  • Invades plantation and agricultural crops and commercial forests in other countries.

How it is spread

  • Reproduces 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.
  • Young shoots easily transported by flood or machinery; small plant fragments containing a node readily produce roots when in contact with moist soil.

Control

  • Target of a national eradication program.
  • New infestations must:
    • be reported to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23
    • be identified and removed by approved officers
    • have their locations recorded prior to removal.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agents.

Legal requirements

  • Mikania vine is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. The Act requires that all sightings of limnocharis plants must be reported to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours of being found. By law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risk of spread of limnocharis until they receive advice from an authorised officer. It must not be kept, moved, given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.
  • At a local level, each local government must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in its area. This plan may include actions to be taken on certain species. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

Further information