Mikania scandens (L.) Willd.

Climbing Hempweed

Habitat: Thickets, swamps, and banks of streams. [Dry barrens (partly forested, upland); Open wetland, not coastal nor rivershore (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Maine to Florida, southern Illinois, and Texas, south to tropical America.

Aids to Identification: Climbing hempweed is an herbaceous vine growing up to 5 meters in length. The small white or pink flowers are arranged in groups of four and these groups are clustered into disk-like heads. The leaves are opposite and roughly triangular or heart-shaped. M. scandens is the only member of the Mikania genus represented in our region and one of the only members of the Aster family in Maine that is a vine.

Ecological characteristics: Usually found climbing on bushes in moist areas in the coastal plain. The only record of this species in Maine is from a pitch pine barren area near the coast.

Phenology: Flowers July - October.

Family: Asteraceae

Synonyms: Eupatorium scandens L.; Mikania scandens (L.) Willd. var. pubescens (Nutt.) Torr. & Gray; Willoughbya scandens (L.) Kuntze.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has historically been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Cumberland.

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range; not rare southwards.

Conservation considerations: Unknown; no current locations for this species are documented.