New invader of our neighborhoods

Thladiantha dubia (a.k.a. goldencreeper, manchu tubergourd, red hailstone) is new to Wisconsin and unfortunately, little is known about the species. In 2013, a population was recorded in Stillwater, Minnesota which, over a 5 year period, became a massive kudzu-like infestation covering much of the ground and climbing 20 feet or more into the trees.

Goldencreeper is a fast-growing herbaceous plant emerging from perennial tubers and uses tendrils to climb over other vegetation climber. The tubers can easily spread downstream and start new populations. Where reported in the U.S. and Canada there is concern that the plant is invasive and spreading rapidly. Not much is known yet about control, but due to the extensive tubers, hand-pulling and foliar spraying efforts may require multiple years.

Fortunately, goldencreeper is not yet widespread throughout Wisconsin and we can prevent its establishment with prompt action. It grows on disturbed sites, along rivers, and on sandy shores. Goldencreeper is shade intolerant and prefers moist, well-drained soils, spreading through lawns, gardens, along roadsides, in waste places and into cultivated fields.  SEWISC is currently working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to eradicate three separate infestations in Waukesha County.  More information regarding goldencreeper can be found at: Minnesota Wildflowers, University of Michigan, and OMAFRA.

Help identify additional populations of goldencreeper in southeastern Wisconsin to expedite early detection and rapid response efforts by reporting any populations of these invading plant species immediately to the WDNR.

Goldencreeper’s showy, bright yellow flowers bloom from July to September.  Stems are slender and climb over other vegetation by means of tendrils. Plants reproduce by very persistent, widely spreading, fleshy, underground, potato-like tubers, making the species extremely difficult to eradicate