NATIVE RANGE: South, East and Southeast Asia (India, Bangladesh, China, Korea, Japan, Indonezia, Malaisia, Philipines).
FIRST FINDING IN SLOVENIA: Not yet found in nature in Slovenia, also not yet elsewhere in Europe.
PATHWAYS: not in use as an ornamental plant. In the USA it was accidentally introduced, after which it spread through the northeastern USA, and southwards to Oregon.
POSSIBLE TO FIND: March – November
FLOWERING SEASON: June – November
DESCRIPTION: An annual climber which may reach up to 7 m high. It leaves are light green with a characteristic triangular shape. On the knots are prominent leaf bases which fully embrace the stem. Stems, petioles and central veins on the underside of the leaves have small back curved spines. In summer, inflorescenses with inconspicuous fowers develop at the leaf bases. Fruits ripen from mid-summer to late fall. Unripe fruits are green, when ripe they colour dark blue. The fruits are spread by birds and mammals, and can be transmitted over long distances by water.
HABITAT: Outside of its natural distribution it grows along roads and railroads, at forest edges, grassy slopes, along streams and rivers and at unused open areas. It is most common in damp places but can also succeed in more dry sites.
IMPACTS: As a fast growing climber, it can cover and out-shade native herbs, shrubs and young trees, and prevent forest rejuvenation. The dense intertwining of thorny stems hinders crossing animals and hinders the recreational uses of areas. It can be an annoying weed in tree nurseries, orchards and and in urban green areas.
STATUS IN SLOVENIA: Not yet found in nature in Slovenia, also not yet elsewhere in Europe.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Black bindweed, Fallopia convolvulus has narrow leaves with a distinctly cordate base and lacks spines.
NOTE: this species is included in the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list) of Regulation (EU) 1143/2014. The species included on the Union list are subject to restrictions and measures set out in the Regulation. These include restrictions on keeping, importing, selling, breeding and growing. Member States are required to take action on pathways of unintentional introduction, to take measures for the early detection and rapid eradication of these species, and to manage species that are already widely spread in their territory.
SOURCE: Kus Veenvliet, J. in P. Veenvliet, 2017, Opisi izbranih invazivnih tujerodnih vrst, ki zadevajo Unijo. Poročilo naloge Priprava materialov za osveščanje in za identificiranje invazivnih
tujerodnih vrst, ki zadevajo Unijo. 1. del. Izvajalec: Zavod Symbiosis. Naročnik: Ministrstvo za
okolje in prostor. https://bit.ly/2L123R4