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‘Mile-a-Minute Weed’ Growing in Iowa

MARION COUNTY, Iowa  --  An invasive weed has moved into Iowa but hopefully it doesn't spread as fast as its name indicates.

It's called "Mile-A-Minute Weed" (Polygonum perfoliatum).  It's native to to eastern Asia but is now spreading in the US.  It hadn't been found further West than Indiana until a Marion County landowner contacted the Iowa DNR.

The vine can grown 20 feet in a season.  Over years it can weigh down trees and smother other vegetation.  Herbicides can kill it, but its just as easy to pull the weed up by its shallow roots.  The plants seeds can survive for eight years so it could take years to clear a patch.

The Iowa DNR says it is investigating releasing a specific type of weevil that feeds on the plant.