WINONA, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says an invasive vine that threatens forests has turned up in Winona County.

Oriental bittersweet was found along a road in the southeastern Minnesota county.

The department says the vine is “a significant forest health threat” in the eastern U.S. and Canada, and is spreading west.

The vine, which resembles native bittersweet, can grow up to 66 feet long. It was first detected in the Twin Cities.

Oriental bittersweet is native to China, Korea and Japan and was introduced into the U.S. in the 1860s. The vines climb trees and can slow or stop the growth of other trees.

The Post-Bulletin reports the department asks people to not collect or use the fruiting stems for decoration. The fruit should be bagged for disposal or burned.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. FortheloveofGod says:

    Hopefully this is not the bittersweet vine that Garden Centers have been selling for years? Can they trace it back to where it originated from?

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