Mikania micrantha is a tropical plant in the Asteraceae; known as Bitter Vine or Climbing Hemp Vine or American Rope. It is also sometimes called Mile-a-Minute Vine (a moniker usually reserved for the unrelated Persicaria perfoliata, an invasive pest).
It is a vigorously growing perennial creeper that grows best in areas in high humidity, light and soil fertility, though it can adapt in less fertile soils. The featherlike seeds are dispersed by wind. A single stalk can produce between 20 and 40 thousand seeds a season.
The species is native to the sub-tropical zones of North, Central, and South America.
Mikania micrantha is a widespread weed in the tropics. It grows very quickly (as fast as 80 to 90 mm in 24 hours for a young plant) and covers other plants, shrubs and even trees. Mikania is a problem in Nepal, covering more than 20% of the Chitwan National Park.
Various control measures against Mikania have been tried in many countries. It is moderately susceptible to the herbicides 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T and paraquat. Cuscuta, a parasitic plant, has been used in Assam and Sri Lanka to suppress the spread of Mikania from waste land to tea planatations. Other control measures are Puccinia spegazzinii fungus and Liothrips mikaniae insects.
It is used to heal cuts and stop minor external bleeding in Fiji but its medicinal properties are still yet to be fully discovered. It is also a very popular local antiseptic medicine in Mizoram State of India, it is known locally as Japan Hlo.
- Lalith Gunasekera, Invasive Plants: A guide to the identification of the most invasive plants of Sri Lanka, Colombo 2009, p. 105–106.
- Invasives, February 2007.
- INVASIVES: Newsletter of the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network (APFISN) (PDF) 8, February 2007 Lalith Gunasekera, Invasive Plants: A guide to the identification of the most invasive plants of Sri Lanka, Colombo 2009, p. 105–106.
- Zhang, M; Ling, B; Kong, C; Zhao, H; Pang, X (Oct 2002), "Allelopathic potential of volatile oil from Mikania micrantha", Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = the journal of applied ecology / Zhongguo sheng tai xue xue hui, Zhongguo ke xue yuan Shenyang ying yong sheng tai yan jiu suo zhu ban 13 (10): 1300–2, ISSN 1001-9332, PMID 12557680
- Shao, H; Peng, S; Wei, X; Zhang, D; Zhang, C (Jul 2005), "Potential allelochemicals from an invasive weed Mikania micrantha H.B.K", Journal of chemical ecology 31 (7): 1657–68, doi:10.1007/s10886-005-5805-0, ISSN 0098-0331, PMID 16222800
- Wang, Rl; Ding, Lw; Sun, Qy; Li, J; Xu, Zf; Peng, Sl (2008), "Genome sequence and characterization of a new virus infecting Mikania micrantha H.B.K", Archives of Virology 153 (9): 1765–70, doi:10.1007/s00705-008-0180-0, ISSN 0304-8608, PMID 18679764
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