Paederia foetida L.
Synonym(s): skunk vine, stinkvine

Skunk vine is a perennial, climbing or trailing vine that can grow to 30 ft. (9.1 m) long. Plants originate from a woody root-stock and can invade natural and disturbed areas of Hawaii and the southeastern United States. The opposite leaves are up to 4.5 in. (11.4 cm) long, lance-shaped, often lobed at the base, and on petioles up to 2.5 in. (6.4 cm) long. The stems and leaves have a strong, unpleasant odor when crushed, giving this plant its name. Flowering occurs in late summer to fall, when small, pink or lilac flowers occur in clusters, either terminally or in leaf axils. Fruit are nearly-round, shiny, brown and up to 0.3 in. (0.7 cm) wide. Skunk vine has the potential to invade a large variety of disturbed and high quality habitats. Currently, it is widespread in Florida and in small areas of other southeastern states and Hawaii. Trailing infestations can completely cover and kill low-growing plants and small shrubs. Climbing infestations can strangle even large trees and restrict light availability to species below. Skunk vine is native to Asia and was first introduced into the United States before 1897 as a potential fiber plant.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources