Mikania cordata (Burm.f.) B.L.Rob., Contr. Gray Herb. 104: 65 (1934)

(Latin for 'heart shaped', referring to the shape of the leaf base)

Eupatorium cordatum Burm.f. Eupatorium trinitarium var. volubilis (Poepp.) M.Gómez
Eupatorium volubile Norona
Eupatorium volubile (Poepp.) Vahl
Knautia sagittata Blanco
Mikania volubilis (Vahl) Willd.
Mikania volubilis Poepp.

A fast growing, creeping or twining, perennial vine; stems branched, pubescent to glabrous, ribbed, from 3 to 6 m long; leaves opposite, cordate or triangular-ovate, blade 3 to 12 cm long, 2 to 6 cm wide, on a slender petiole 1 to 8 cm long, base broadly cordate, tip acuminate, margins crenate, dentate, or entire, surfaces nearly glabrous, three- to seven-veined from base; flowers in small heads in open, nearly flat-topped (corymbose) panicles; axillary and terminal heads 6 to 9 mm long, four-flowered; involucral bracts four, obtuse or acute, 5 to 6 mm long, glabrous or subglabrous with one additional smaller bract about 3 mm long; corolla white or yellowish white, about 5 mm long; anthers bluish gray or grayish black; style white; fruit an achene, linear-oblong, 2 to 3 mm long, five angled, blackish brown, glandular; pappus of 40 to 45 bristles, about 4 mm long, white at first, reddish afterwards. May be distinguished by the following characteristics: 40 to 45 reddish pappus bristles, corollas white, and heads 7 to 7.5 mm long. [from www.hear.org]

A notorious invasive vine occurring up to 2000 m elevation. Grows most frequently in places receiving high rainfall, probably 1,500 mm or more; prefers rich, damp soil; rarely grows in dry areas; and thrives in open, disturbed places. For that reason it is common in young secondary forests, in forest clearings, in plantation tree crops, fallow or neglected lands, and along rivers and streams, waste areas, steep hillsides, and even mountainsides from whence winds probably spread the seeds to new areas. The species will grow in partial shade, but cannot tolerate dense shade. Large amounts of seed transported by the wind or by adhering to human clothing or the hair of animals. Vegetative reproduction can occur from broken stem fragments that may be dislodged and transported by machinery or by rainfall run-off.[from www.hear.org]

Southeast Asia and Eastern Africa, but currently invasive in many parts of the world.

The plant is used as a cover crop to prevent erosion and the leaves are used in some places as a soup vegetable, and can be used as cattle fodder. In southern Nigeria a decoction is given for coughs, and the leaf-juice is a remedy for sore eyes. In Portuguese East Africa, the Tongas use the plant as a remedy for snake and scorpion bite. An infusion of the plant is given in affections of the stomach and intestines. In Malaysia the leaves are used for rubbing on the body against itches. In Java they are used for poulticing the wound of circumcision and other wounds.

Local names
English: Heartleaf hempvine, Mile a minute.
Philippines: Bikas.