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Kudzu ( Pueraria montana ). Introduction to U.S. Native to Japan and China. Introduced to the United States in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Countries were invited to build exhibits to celebrate the 100th birthday of the U.S.

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introduction to u s
Introduction to U.S.
  • Native to Japan and China.
  • Introduced to the United States in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Countries were invited to build exhibits to celebrate the 100th birthday of the U.S.
  • The Japanese government constructed a beautiful garden filled with plants from their country.
  • The large leaves and sweet-smelling blooms of kudzu captured the imagination of American gardeners who used the plant for ornamental purposes.
some history
Some History
  • During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Soil Conservation Service promoted kudzu for erosion control.
  • Hundreds of young men were given work planting kudzu through the Civilian Conservation Corps.
  • Farmers were paid as much as eight dollars an acre as incentive to plant fields of the vines in the 1940s.
history cont d
History Cont’d
  • Kudzu's most vocal advocate was Channing Cope of Covington, Georgia who promoted use of the vine to control erosion.
  • During the 1940s, he traveled across the southeast starting Kudzu Clubs to honor what he called "the miracle vine."
  • Cope was very disappointed when the U.S. government stopped advocating the use of kudzu in 1953.
  • "Cotton isn't king in the South anymore. Kudzu is king!" ~Channing Cope~
characteristics of kudzu
Characteristics of Kudzu
  • Kudzu is a climbing, woody or semi-woody, perennial vine capable of reaching heights of 20–30 m (66-98 ft) in trees, but also scrambles extensively over lower vegetation.
  • Each flower is about 1–1.5 cm (about 0.4–0.6 in) long, purple, and highly fragrant. The flowers are copious nectar producers and are visited by many species of insects, including bees, butterflies and moths.
characteristics cont d
Characteristics Cont’d
  • Kudzu vines will cover buildings and parked vehicles over a period of years if no attempt is made to control its growth.
effects of kudzu
Effects of Kudzu
  • Grows too well!
  • The climate of the Southeastern U.S. is perfect for kudzu.
  • The vines grow as much as a foot per day during summer months, climbing trees, power poles, and anything else they contact.
  • Under ideal conditions kudzu vines can grow sixty feet each year.
ecological effects
Ecological Effects
  • While they help prevent erosion, the vines can also destroy valuable forests by preventing trees from getting sunlight.
  • Kudzu also kills ground vegetation.
controlling kudzu
Controlling Kudzu
  • Repeated herbicide treatments for at least four years, but some kudzu plants may take as long as ten years to kill, even with the most effective herbicides.
  • Placing farm animals in Kudzu infested also regulates the spread and kills kudzu.
long term control
Long-Term Control

Kudzu Seedpods

  • For successful long-term control of kudzu, it is not necessary to destroy the entire root system, which can be quite large and deep.
  • Nodes and crowns are the source of all kudzu vines, and roots cannot produce vines.
  • If any portion of a root crown remains after attempted removal, the kudzu plant grows back.
mechanical control
Mechanical Control
  • Mechanical methods of control involve cutting off crowns from roots, usually just below ground level.
  • This immediately kills the plant.
  • Cutting off vines is not sufficient for an immediate kill.

Small kudzu crown severed from root using flexible pruning saw.

problems with kudzu control
Problems with Kudzu Control
  • Kudzu covers about over 10 million acres in the Southern U.S.
  • Herbicidal control of the invasive species is not practical ecologically or economically.
  • It would cause an extensive physical and chemical disturbance.
  • The annual cost would be on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars.
the cheaper route for kudzu control
The Cheaper Route for Kudzu Control
  • Using Angora goats in fields of kudzu which would otherwise be considered wasted land.
  • The goats keep the kudzu from spreading further while producing profitable milk and wool products.
  • Constant grazing will eventually eradicate kudzu.
how humans are helping control kudzu benefitting
How Humans are Helping Control Kudzu & Benefitting

Kudzu Vine Vitamins help reduce symptoms of hangovers. A WVU college students dream drug.

Kudzu Jelly which is used as a food source from the blossom produced by the kudzu.

Captures the Scent of Kudzu Blossom

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“Close your windows At night to keep it out of the house.The glass is tinged with green, even so...”

From the poem, "Kudzu,"

By: James Dickey