A Message from University of Minnesota Extension
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has declared red hailstone (Thladiantha dubia) the October weed of the month. Also known as goldencreeper, there are known infestations of this herbaceous vine near Wright County. One is in Watertown in Carver County, and another is in Orrock Township, north of Big Lake in Sherburne County.
Red hailstone is a vine named for the red fruit on female plants. The vines grow vigorously to climb over other vegetation enabling red hailstone to dominate. It smothers native vegetation and has been problematic in agricultural fields.
Red hailstone is an attractive vine with separate male and female plants that can grow in light levels ranging from full sun to shade. To date, all populations reported in Minnesota are male, so there has not been reproduction by seed. However, the vines spread by underground stems and produce tubers that can send up new shoots. The vines die back to the ground each winter but can grow 18 feet per year to cover large areas. Leaves are alternate, simple, and heart-shaped with irregularly toothed edges.
This vine is known as goldencreeper because of its golden flowers. Flowering is from July to September. Flowers have five petals fused at the base to form a tube. Curling tendrils attached to the stems help the vines to climb.
Residents of Wright County can do their part to keep yet another invasive weed out of the area. Keep an eye out for it, and if you suspect an invasive weed on your property contact MDA (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your local Extension educator. Wright County residents can call (763) 682-7381 or email email@example.com.