Invasive Species‎ > ‎

Dog-Strangling Vine

DESCRIPTION AND HABITAT:                                                                     

Dog-Strangling Vine (Cynanchum rossicum), also known as pale swallowwort, is an invasive perennial vine with a gruesome name (cynancho is Greek for dog) but it is actually harmless to dogs!  The plants grow1-2 metres tall, and twine around trees, shrubs or even around each other to produce thick colonies.  The vine is found on hillsides, in ravines, waste areas, and along fence lines in open sunny spaces or in pine woods or other forest understories.  The vine reproduces both by seed and by underground rhizomes.  Small pink to maroon flowers bloom in June and produce long thin pods that release fluffy white seeds in late August.

INVASIVE HABIT AND DISTRIBUTION:                                                 

The plant competes with and overwhelms ground vegetation. Dog-Strangling Vine continues to establish new colonies in Southern and Central Ontario and throughout North America.  


No procedure will completely eradicate it.  However, try several of the following methods in combination to control it.  Dig up the plants and all roots if in the first year of growth.  Don’t leave any rootstalks lying on the ground to resprout.  Bag and remove all plant parts.  Mow the plants often and persistently each year before they go to seed and repeat for several years.  Mow and then smother the area with heavy black plastic or tarps secured by bricks just before winter to prevent regrowth in spring.     



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