Mikania vine

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 declared pest under Queensland legislation.

Scientific name

Mikania micrantha

Other names

Mile-a-minute, bitter vine, American rope, Chinese creeper, climbing hemp vine

Similar species

  • Climbing groundsels


  • 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.


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

Distribution in Queensland

  • First found in Australia in 1998 at Ingham and Bingil Bay in north Queensland.
  • Since detected at one location near Speewah (near Mareeba).

Life cycle

  • Flowering occurs May-October.



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


  • 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.


  • 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.

Declaration details

  • This is a declared Class 1 species under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002.
  • Not commonly present or established in Queensland and has the potential to cause impacts to whole or part of the state.
  • Introduction, feeding, keeping, releasing or supplying (including supplying things containing reproductive material of this pest) is prohibited without a permit issued by Biosecurity Queensland.
  • Landowners are required by law to keep their land free of this pest.

More information

Contact us

Call your local government office, or Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Last updated
25 November 2015