Mile-a-minute Distribution Map

To view the updated map of Mile-a-minute vine (Persicaria perfoliata) distribution in CT click here.

Mile-a-minute vine is a highly invasive annual weed spreading across Connecticut. It outcompetes and overgrows native species, causing ecological and economic harm. The vine scrambles over other vegetation and can climb trees and posts. Mile-a-minute is deserving of its common name and its reputation as “the Kudzu of the North” – a single vine can grow up to 6 inches per day! Mile-a-minute has been banned by the CT Legislature (Sec. 22a-381d of the CT General Statutes makes it illegal to transport, sell, cultivate or distribute the species), but populations are still spreading in natural areas and perhaps in your own backyard!

Please help us find, track and control this plant in Connecticut. With your help, we can organize and coordinate the removal of Mile-a-minute vine before it becomes an even bigger and more costly problem. Identification and contact information can be found at

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is scheduled for February 22-28.

And according to experts with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), it’s a topic that deserves our attention. Non-native plants, animals and pathogens can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation’s economy. The damage done by invasive plants alone costs the U.S. an estimated $34.7 billion a year.

For more information on invasive species awareness events occurring across the nation this week visit

Penni Sharp

To the CIPWG community,

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Penni Sharp on Sunday, December 14, 2014.

Penni was an excellent botanist and wetland biologist.  She was very active in numerous organizations, including the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group, where she served as Co-chair for many years, the Connecticut Botanical Society, and the Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists.  It was truly an honor and a privilege to have known Penni as both a colleague and a friend.  She inspired so many of us with her passion for protecting the environment, and she will be dearly missed.

Please follow the link to Penni’s obituary in the Hartford Courant:


Donna Ellis


Invasive Plant Walk

A natural area in Mansfield, CT was heavily invaded with invasive plants.  In June 2013, CIPWG, UConn, and other organizations teamed up to install the Les Mehrhoff Invasive Plant Walk.  The walk provides informational signage for nine common invasive plants. Continue reading


Nicole Gabelman UConn bittersweet photo slideshow
Photo Credit: Nicole Gabelman


Oriental or Asiatic Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is a highly invasive, non-native vine that grows vigorously, damaging trees and other plants and forming dense stands. Bittersweet produces an abundance of bright fruits, which are spread by birds and other animals to new locations.

The sale of Oriental bittersweet has been prohibited in Connecticut since 2004. The law also prohibits the importation, purchase, and cultivation of bittersweet and other listed plants. Fines for violations of the law are listed at $50 per plant. The law includes all reproductive portions of the plant, including seeds.

Review the full text of the law here.

CIPWG’s 1 page fact sheet for this species is available here.

Read a DEEP press release about bittersweet and alternatives: here.

If you see invasive Oriental bittersweet for sale in Connecticut, please contact CIPWG at