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Mile-a-minute is already here but we’re working to get rid of it.

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Why it is a pest plant


Identifying Features

Production threat Environmental threat Public threat

Mile-a-minute is an evergreen fast growing vine. It smothers and kills most plants from ground level to medium canopy and prevents the establishment of native plant seedlings. It thrives in bare sites and increases nitrogen in poor soil types, potentially changing the species that can grow there.

It is likely to invade forest margins, coastlines, cliffs, shrublands, rocky and limestone areas.

Seeds drop near parent plants and can be spread by birds. However, the spread of mile-a-minute occurs most often from dumped vegetation or infested soil. Originally from South Africa, there are only a few known locations in the Waikato region.

Identifying features


  • Pea-like flowers which can be pink, white, lavender and white or reddish purple.
  • Flowering occurs over a long period – July to January.

Fruit/ seed

  • Boat-shaped seed pods, similar to pea pods, 3-4cm long.
  • Pods can be found on the vine all year round.
  • Small, clustered berry-like fruit.
  • Fruit is initially green but ripens to a juicy purple-black colour.
  • One small pale seed in each fruit. Seeds are attractive to birds.


  • Leaves are made up of three triangular/heart-shaped ‘leaflets’.
  • Leaves measure about 2.5-5.5cm long.
  • Leaf stems are moderately hairy and woody towards their base.

Responsibility for control

Waikato Regional Council is responsible for the control of mile-a-minute. If you think you’ve seen it, call us.

Waikato Regional Council is responsible for controlling mile-a-minute – do not attempt to remove it yourself. However, landowners/occupiers are encouraged to report mile-a-minute on their properties. Mile-a-minute is also banned from being sold, propagated, distributed or included in commercial displays.

How to control Mile-a-minute

If you see these weeds on your property, do not cut or treat it. Call 0800 BIOSEC (0800 246 732) to report them to your local biosecurity pest plant officer.


More information


  • For advice and additional information on control methods, call our pest plant staff on freephone 0800 BIOSEC (0800 246 732).
  • Chemical company representatives, farm supply stores and garden centres can also be good sources for advice.


View, download or order the following publications  or call our freephone 0800 800 401.

  • National Pest Plant Accord (Manual of plants banned from sale, propagation and distribution) ($10.00 plus GST)
  • Plant Me Instead! (Plants to use in place of common pest plants) (free)
  • Waikato Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) (free) (Section 5.23, page 83)
  • Waikato Regional Council pest guide (free)


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