Synonym(s): Causonis japonica (Thunb. ex Murray) Raf., Cissus japonica (Thunb. ex Murray) Willd., Cissus tenuifolia F. Heyne ex Planch., Columella japonica (Thunb. ex Murray) Merr., Vitis japonica Thunb. ex Murray, Vitis leucocarpa Hayata, and Vitis tenuifolia (F. He
Duration and Habit: Perennial Vine
A perennial vine in the grape family with palmately compound leaves that are 1-3 inches long and 0.5-3 inches wide. Leaflets are ovate and pointed. Flowers are very small, occurring in terminal clusters on panicles; they are orange-pink and cup-shaped. Fruit is a round berry with 2-4 seeds.
Ecological Threat: This vine kills native plants and shrubs by blocking light and stressing plants with its weight. Very difficult to remove once established. Climbs trees and may act as a ladder for forest fire in which flames reach higher and do more damage.
Biology & Spread: Rapidly reproduces via sprouting from roots. Able to reproduce by seed; however, flowers usually fall off, and fruit does not set in the Gulf Coast region. After sprouting, bushkiller is a rapid grower, quickly forming smothering mats of vegetation over the canopy of its host.
History: It is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental in North America.
U.S. Habitat: Prefers disturbed areas including harvested forests, fallow fields, overgrazed pastures, and residential areas. Also thrives in moist river bottoms, and forest margins.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced
Native Origin: Southeast Asia
U.S. Present: LA, MS, NC, TX
Distribution: Reported in the U.S. only in Texas and Louisiana. Has been a problem weed at Mercer Arboretum in northeast Houston.
List All Observations of Cayratia japonica reported by Citizen Scientists
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Mechanical: When hand pulling this vine, remove all roots of seedlings to avoid re-sprouting from the roots. Do not compost vines as this will propagate the plant.
Chemical: A cut-stem application of a Glyphosate herbicide such as Roundup or Campaign can be used to control large vines. Treatment is best at 70°F or above, while plants are actively metabolizing. Unwrap vine from supporting vegetation and spread out away from non-target vegetation prior to spraying. Mercer Arboretum in Humble, Texas has had some success in controlling this vine using a non-selective, fermented-vinegar and citric acid-based natural herbicide known by the name of BlackJack 21 Weed Stomper.
The Global Invasive Species Team. 2006. Weed Alert!: Cayratia japonica. Accessed February 2010: http://www.invasive.org/gist/alert/alrtcayr.html
The Galveston Bay Estuary Program. 2007.THE QUIET INVASION: A Guide to Invasive Plants of the Galveston Bay Area Online Version. Accessed January 2010: http://www.galvbayinvasives.org/Guide/Species/CayratiaJaponica
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