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Considering all the damage Kudzu plants do, it still has many fans. The hype didn’t come out of nowhere. Our species profiles include selected highly relevant resources for the species (organized by source), and access to all species related resources included on our site. Kudzu is a perennial climbing vine native to eastern Asia that was recently found in Leamington, Ontario. “The Vine that ate the South” is no longer just a southern problem either. Plant Control:Mature patches of Kudzu can be difficult to contain let alone control. Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is an invasive vine that was introduced to the U.S. from Japan and distributed throughout the South for erosion control. Kudzu is a perennial vine hailing from the pea family. Kudzu is a perennial vine hailing from the pea family. By the early 1940s, Cope had started the Kudzu Club of America, with a membership of 20,000 and a goal of planting eight million acres across the South. All land owners in an infestation area must coopera… It’s as if many have come to view the Southeast as little more than a kudzu desert. The kudzu is a fast-growing, woody, somewhat hairy vine that may grow to a length of 18 m (60 feet) in one season. There is a spot of yellow on each stem of flowers. Its growth is not “sinister,” as Willie Morris, the influential editor of Harper’s Magazine, described in his many stories and memoirs about life in Yazoo City, Mississippi. 1983. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. Kudzu is an ongoing natural disaster that defies containment. Kudzu is spreading in the South and control measures are required on large acreages. Kudzu Origin Kudzu was introduced from Japan to the United States at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 as an ornamental and a forage crop plant. Nothing seems to stop it. For many, the vivid depictions of kudzu had simply become the defining imagery of the landscape, just as palms might represent Florida or cactus Arizona. Kudzu can be controlled with glyphosate but it may take several years of … It was planted with the idea that it could be a solution for soil erosion, but its aggressive spread has proven to be a growing problem rather than an ecological solution, and it's considered an invasive species in the South. 7: 165-169. As you walk closer to the vines you will locate intertwined clusters of them. of Georgia (left) And that, perhaps, is the real danger of kudzu. Many historians believe it was the persuasive power of a popular radio host and Atlanta Constitution columnist named Channing Cope that finally got those seedlings in the ground. Uses for Kudzu Plants. While you can find kudzu vine almost anywhere in the South by taking a drive on a country road, kudzu root is probably most popular by way of a supplement or as kudzu root tea that can be found at most health fo… Kudzu came from Japan.kudzu was brought over from Japan to prevent erosion during WWII. Cope wasn’t just an advocate. And how can we stop it?. Introduced from Asia in the late 19th century as a garden novelty, but not widely planted until the 1930s, kudzu is now America’s most infamous weed. The great kudzu invasion all started out with a mistake: The Soil Erosion Service and Civilian Conservation Corp intentionally planted it to control soil erosion in the state of Pennsylvania. Charles and Lillie Pleas were like many homesteaders when they dropped kudzu around their house in Chipley, Fla., in the early 1900s, … The vines can grow up and over almost any structure and literally covers objects with its fast-growing vegetation. Kudzu is a fast-growing vine native to the subtropical regions of China and Japan, as well as some other Pacific islands.1, 2 The plant consists of leaves (containing 3 broad oval leaflets), purple flowers, and curling tendril spikes.3, 4 Because the stem grows up to 20 m in length and due to its extensive root system, kudzu has been used to control soil erosion. Though fascinated by the grape-scented flowers and the purple honey produced by visiting bees, I trembled at the monstrous green forms climbing telephone poles and trees on the edges of our roads and towns. The plants are in the genus Pueraria, in the pea family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Kudzu is spreading in the South and control measures are required on large acreages. Farmers still couldn’t find a way to make money from the crop. It’s related to five species in the genus Pueraria (P. montana, P. lobata, P. edulis, P. phaseoloides and P. thomsoni). Kudzu is a perennial climbing vine native to eastern Asia that was recently found in Leamington, Ontario. Provides kudzu resources from sources with an interest in the prevention, control, or eradication of invasive species. This process is ongoing, so repeat yearly until the kudzu plant dies. The Kudzu vine can grow up to 12 feet in a day and is not slowed down by poor conditions. Kudzu monocultures typically contain thousands of individual plants per acre . Kudzu. Swearingen J, Reshetiloff K, Slattery B, Zwicker S. 2002. But they have a unique look that isn’t hard to identify. While you can find kudzu vine almost anywhere in the South by taking a drive on a country road, kudzu root is probably most popular by way of a supplement or as kudzu root tea that can be found at most health fo… Kudzu is a group of climbing, coiling, and trailing perennial vines native to much of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and some Pacific islands, but invasive in many parts of the world, primarily North America. In a few decades, a conspicuously Japanese name has come to sound like something straight from the mouth of the South, a natural complement to inscrutable words like Yazoo, gumbo and bayou. Kudzu originally was introduced into the U.S. from Asia in the late 1800s for erosion control and as a livestock forage. Repeated applications are usually required to kill every root crown. But its mythic rise and fall should alert us to the careless secondhand way we sometimes view the living world, and how much more we might see if we just looked a little deeper. Look for trifoliate leaves, or formations with 3 leaflets attached at each node. Native Range: Kudzu is found throughout Asia, including China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Charles and Lillie Pleas were like many homesteaders when they dropped kudzu around their house in Chipley, Fla., in the early 1900s, seeking low … Introduction: Americans were first introduced to kudzu at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, where … Some of these weed treatments require that you dilute the chemicals with water. Posted Date: January 1, 2000 You will … Kudzu bugs are a recent addition to the U.S. list of invasive species. Kudzu was introduced into the US in 1878 from Japan as a Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and New Orleans in 1883 during an exposition. E.O. Habitat: Kudzu is commonly found in disturbed areas such as roadsides, and prefers sandy areas with mild winters and hot summers. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. Though “not terribly worried” about the threat of kudzu, Loewenstein calls it “a good poster child” for the impact of invasive species precisely because it has been so visible to so many. It cannot be over emphasized that total eradication of kudzu is necessary to prevent re-growth. Revegetation of sites following treatment is an important last step to ensure that any residual kudzu does not reestablish. Kudzu: Where did it come from? But, in fact, it rarely penetrates deeply into a forest; it climbs well only in sunny areas on the forest edge and suffers in shade. In places where it was once relatively easy to get a photograph of kudzu, the bug-infested vines are so crippled they can’t keep up with the other roadside weeds. Cultivated in Japan for centuries, kudzu first appeared in the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition's Japanese Pavilion. 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