Christmas Kudzu

Via NPR, Sunday Edition looks at Asiatic bittersweet, a very pretty fruit laden vine that has spread from New England to the South and Midwest.
Asiatic bittersweet has spread from Maine to Louisiana and the Midwest since it was introduced from Asia in the 1860s. It can climb more than 60 feet, spiraling up the trunks and branches of its host trees like a snake. And like a boa constrictor, it chokes those trees.
Widespread infestations of the plant are nearly impossible to eradicate without herbicides. It’s now illegal in many states to collect, move or sell Asiatic bittersweet.

Sure its a pretty plant, but its a biome wrecker. (Something we are very concerned with in Minnesota, with Emerald ash bores, invasive zebra mussels and other water species, and other exotic plants and animals). I think calling it Christmas Kudzu is entirely appropriate, don’t you think?