Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Mikania scandens (L.) Willd.
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: July-October
- Field Marks: This is one of a few vines that belongs to the aster family. The opposite leaves
are wavy-edged or even shallowly lobed. When the fluffy white seeds are on the plant, they will
make anything the plant climbs on appear white at a distance.
- Habitat: Low woods, swamps, stream banks, wet ditches, shores, thickets, flatwoods.
- Habit: Perennial herbaceous vine, climbing without tendrils.
- Stems: Twining, smooth or sparsely hairy, up to 15 feet long.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, heart-shaped at the base, usually smooth,
wavy edged, sometimes with a few teeth or shallow lobes, up to 4 inches long, up to 2 inches
wide; leaf stalk up to 3 inches long.
- Flowers: Four in a head, with the heads arranged in a round-topped cluster arising from the
axils of the leaves; bracts tapering to a long point.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 5, white or pink, united to form a tube.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Achenes elongated, more or less 5-angled, sticky, up to 1/10 inch long, with numerous
stiff bristles at the top.
- Notes: The leaves of this vine can be highly variable in shape.
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