Mikania scandens is a perennial, herbaceous vine; stems twining, to 5 m long, usually hairy, roots fleshy.
Leaves opposite, stalked, blade 3-14 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, base heart-shaped, tip pointed, base deeply lobed, veins palmate, margin entire to few-toothed.
Flowers dull pinkish, 4 per head, all radially symmetrical (discoid), no rays, basal bracts (involucre) 4, 0.4-0.5 cm long; inflorescence of flat-topped clusters; blooming July-Oct.
Fruit dry, one-seeded achenes, about 0.2 cm long, white-plumed; wind dispersed in autumn.
Wetland status: FACW+.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Habitat: Wet, open areas, marshes. Soil pH 5.7-7.5 (USDA 2005).
Notes: Occasionally aggressive under some conditions. Possibly in response to high nutrient loads or continued disturbance (M. Gargiullo personal observation).