A weed that is all over Grape Island is Mile-A-Minute and just like its name, this vine like plant can grow up to six inches a day! The scientific name for this highly invasive plant is Persicaria perfoliata. The Mile a minute weed is very distinguishable in which the leaves are shaped like an equilateral triangle and along the stems there are small thorns (but the thorns surprisingly doesn’t hurt that much). Also, unlike any other plant I have seen, it has a cup leaf at each node.
Mile-a-minute is originally found in India and eastern Asia, and it is part of the buckwheat family. The flowers on this plant are very tiny and white, but its seeds are really cool. This weed produces a metallic blue fruit and inside the fruit is a glossy black seed.
Despite how cool this plant looks, it is highly invasive plant that tends to dominate the area that it is established in. One of its key attributes to it’s success is that these plants can survive in poor and wet soil. However, it needs a lot of sunlight. One mechanism that Mile-a-minute uses is that it attach together to itself in order to reach places where there is not a lot of sunlight. Removing these plants are hard, but the best method is by hand pulling. In some cases, organizations have released The Mile-A-Minute weevil, which is a beetle that feeds primarily on this plant. Once you spot this plant, it seems to be everywhere!
University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org