Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Plants of Malaysia

Mile-a-Minute Weed (Mikania micrantha)

Mikania micrantha Kunth (Asteraceae) is a perennial creeping vine. It originates from Central and South America. This weed plant gets its nickname "Mile-a-Minute" because of its fast growth. It colonise tropical forest and agricultural land. The plant climb trees and shrubs, and When left unattended, trees can be quickly covered from the sunlight.

The plant climbs by twining spirally around a support, which in the field is most often the main stem or a branch of a tree plant. The climber plant scales along the entire height of a the plant supporting it until the climbing plant reaches the top of the support plant. The climbing plant then grows profusely, producing leaves and flowers, thereby "suffocating" the support plant. The plant also climbs onto non-living support, whether it is a pole, dead trees or stumps. In Malay language, stump is equivalent to "tunggul". Hence, the plant is locally known as "selaput tunggul", which means "stump covering".





Classification:

Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Division - Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)
Class - Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
Subclass - Asteridae
Order - Asterales
Family - Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus - Mikania Willd. – hempvine
Species - Mikania micrantha Kunth (bittervine)

References:

Cock, M.J.W. et al. 2000. Can Failure be Turned into Success for Biological Control of Mile-a-Minute Weed (Mikania micrantha)? Proceedings of the X International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds 4-14 July 1999, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA. Neal R. Spencer [ed.]. pp. 155-167

Global Invasive Species Programme: Tropical Asia Invaded: Mile-a-minute Weed. http://www.gisp.org/casestudies/contents.asp?title=Tropical%20Asia%20invaded:%20The%20growing%20danger%20of%20invasive%20alien%20species&showtitles=yes

USDA: Natural Resource Conservation service. Mikania micrantha Kunth
bittervine. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MIMI5

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