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Keep an eye out for invasive red hailstone

Yellow flower with green leaves.
Red hailstone flower also called golden creeper. Photo: MN Department of Agriculture

A perennial herbaceous vine native to Asia, red hailstone or golden creeper (Thladiantha dubia) may have been planted as an ornamental vine or vegetable crop. It has separate male and female plants and is named such for the red fruit the female plants produce.

Found in seven states, including Minnesota, it grows over and smothers other plants. In Minnesota, it has been found in Anoka, Carver, Otter Tail, Sherburn and Washington counties.

The plants can spread via underground stems and produce tubers that grow new shoots. The vines die back in winter but have been shown to grow 18 feet during the growing season. The female plants also produce seed. To date, all reported populations in Minnesota have been found to be all-male plants. 

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture asks that, if you find red hailstone in Minnesota, please report it to Arrest The Pest using their new online reporting form or note the location and email photos of the leaves, flowers and infestation to arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us.

For more information on red hailstone:

Author: Monika Chandler, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Revised with permission from October Weed of the Month

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