Cape sweet pea
Fabaceae - Dipogon lignosus

What does it look like?

Mile-a-minute is an evergreen climbing vine.  Each leaf is made up of three, roughly triangular to heart-shaped leaflets.  Each leaflet is 3-9cm long.  Between July and January it produces attractive, pea-type flowers that range in colour including white, red, pink, and purple.  The flowers are followed by sickle-shaped seed pods that are 30-40mm long.

Within its natural range in the Cape region of South Africa, mile-a-minute is usually found along forest margins and stream banks where it scrambles over other shrubs and trees.  It tolerates dappled shade and poor soil.  In New Zealand it occupies similar habitat in open sun.

Why is it a problem?

Mile-a-minute is a fast-growing vine which will quickly smother native vegetation, weighing it down and causing plants to break. It also grows over the ground, hampering growth rates of native groundcover plants.

Control Methods

Physical control

  • Dig out small plants, including the tap-root, dry and allow to rot or dispose of at a refuse transfer station.

Herbicide control

  • Cut large vines to ground level and paint stumps with 400 ml/L Yates Woody Weedkiller or metgel. 
  • Spray vines with 240 ml Yates Woody Weedkiller per 10L water or 5g metsulfuron-methyl (600g/l) + penetrant per 10L water taking care spray does not reach desirable plants.

Follow up six monthly to check for resprouting stumps and new seedlings.

 CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed. 

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