EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 11 - 2007 Num. article: 2007/228

Fallopia baldschuanica in the EPPO region: addition to the EPPO Alert List

Considering the potential of invasiveness and the limited presence of Fallopia baldschuanica in the EPPO region, the Secretariat considered that this species could usefully be added to the EPPO Alert List.

Why: Fallopia baldschuanica (Polygonaceae) is a perennial vine native to Asia. Its common name is “mile-a-minute-vine”, or “Russian vine” in English. The plant has been introduced for ornamental purposes and is still sold as such (first introduced in Spain in 1889). Within the EPPO region, its distribution is still limited. Because this plant has shown invasive behaviour where it has been introduced elsewhere in the world, and is still limited in the EPPO region, it can be considered a new emerging invader in Europe.

Geographical distribution
EPPO Region: Denmark (not invasive), Ireland (invasive), Germany, Spain (invasive), Italy (invasive), Slovenia (invasive).
Asia (native): Afghanistan, China (Tibet), Pakistan (Waziristan in the north-east), Russia (south, Siberia), Tajikistan.
North America (invasive): USA (California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington).
Central America: Costa Rica.
Note: the species is casual in Belgium. In Slovenia, it is present in the warmer south-western part.

F. baldschuanica is a non rhizomatous perennial vine growing up to 3-10 m. The lower part of climbing stems is woody. Leaves are simple and deciduous, 3-10 x 1-5 cm, ovate-oblong, petiole 1-4 cm, and margin entire or wavy. Terminal inflorescences in dense panicles, 3-15 cm with bisexual flowers, in fascicules of more than 5 flowers, greenish white to pink, 5-8 cm. The plant flowers from May to October. Achenes are dark brown to black, shiny, smooth, 2-4 x 1.8-2.2 mm.

Biology and ecology
The plant can grow in many types of soils. It can tolerate temperatures down to -20°C, but is sensitive to long lasting periods of frost. The species hybridizes with the very invasive Fallopia japonica (EPPO List of IAP) which may increase its reproductive ability. It can reproduce both sexually by seeds and vegetatively by layering and rhizomes.

F. baldschuanica thrives in disturbed sites, walls and ruins, riparian forests.

This vine grows over shrubs and trees, and threatens native vegetation.

The best strategy is to prevent the introduction of F. baldschuanica in wild areas. The only management method which has shown some effectivness is the manual removal of plants. This mechanical method can only be effective if subterranean organs are removed.


Personal communication with Laura Celesti-Grapow, University of Roma, La Sapienza, 2005 (laura.celesti@uniroma1.it)
Personal communication with Nejc Jogan, University of Ljubjana, 2005  (nejc.jogan@bf.uni-lj.si)
Sanz Elorza M, Dana Sànchez ED, Sobrina Vesperinas E Eds (2004) Atlas de las plantas alóctonas invasoras en España. Dirección General para la Biodiversidad. Madrid, 384 pp.
United States Department of Agriculture - Plant Database – Plants Profile. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=POBA3