A Faster Way to Get Rid of Kudzu . But scientists reassessing kudzu’s spread have found that it’s nothing like that. In the 1930s and 40s, with the country in the throes of the Great Depression and aftermath of the Dust Bowl, kudzu … Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. Habitat: Kudzu is commonly found in disturbed areas such as roadsides, and prefers sandy areas with mild winters and hot summers. Even existing stands of kudzu now exude the odor of their own demise, an acrid sweetness reminiscent of grape bubble gum and stink bug. All 3 leaves will be … In the latest careful sampling, the U.S. Forest Service reports that kudzu occupies, to some degree, about 227,000 acres of forestland, an area about the size of a small county and about one-sixth the size of Atlanta. Imported from Japan in the 19th century, promoted by the Soil Conservation Service to stem soil erosion, kudzu morphed in a few decades from an … It was first introduced to the United States during the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 where it was touted as a great ornamental plant for its sweet-smelling blooms and sturdy vines. Kudzu thrives through drought and hot temperatures, but continuous removal of all vegetative parts during extreme weather will kill kudzu over time. California Do Not Sell My Info Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences. By the early 1950s, the Soil Conservation Service was quietly back-pedaling on its big kudzu push. Kudzu - or kuzu (クズ) - is native to Japan and southeast China. Why is it invasive? It veils more serious threats to the countryside, like suburban sprawl, or more destructive invasive plants such as the dense and aggressive cogon grass and the shrubby privet. 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. Read the instructions that come with your herbicide. “If you based it on what you saw on the road, you’d say, dang, this is everywhere,” said Nancy Loewenstein, an invasive plants specialist with Auburn University. Swearingen J, Reshetiloff K, Slattery B, Zwicker S. 2002. In the decades that followed kudzu’s formal introduction at the 1876 World’s Fair Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, farmers found little use for a vine that could take years to establish, was nearly impossible to harvest and couldn’t tolerate sustained grazing by horses or cattle. So where did the more fantastic claims of kudzu’s spread come from? 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. All land owners in an infestation area must coopera… In a 1973 article about Mississippi, Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, wrote that “racism is like that local creeping kudzu vine that swallows whole forests and abandoned houses; if you don’t keep pulling up the roots it will grow back faster than you can destroy it.” The photographs of kudzu-smothered cars and houses that show up repeatedly in documentaries of Southern life evoke intractable poverty and defeat. Repeated applications are usually required to kill every root crown. 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 can be controlled with glyphosate but it may take several years of … There is a spot of yellow on each stem of flowers. What Are Kudzu Bugs and Where the Heck Did They Come From. As you walk closer to the vines you will locate intertwined clusters of them. Kudzu was introduced into gardens in the early 1900s and was later used for forage. It’s related to five species in the genus Pueraria (P. montana, P. lobata, P. edulis, P. phaseoloides and P. thomsoni). Posted Date: January 1, 2000 www.forestryimages.org. Kudzu originally was introduced into the U.S. from Asia in the late 1800s for erosion control and as a livestock forage. Provides kudzu resources from sources with an interest in the prevention, control, or eradication of invasive species. Only vines more than a yard above the ground in full sun will flower in late summer, and few fruiting pods develop viable seeds. But it did not become the plant that’s eating America all by itself. Wilson, the American biologist and naturalist at Harvard, says the central Gulf Coast states “harbor the most diversity of any part of eastern North America, and probably any part of North America.” Yet when it comes to environmental and conservation funding, the South remains a poor stepchild. To overcome the lingering suspicions of farmers, the service offered as much as $8 per acre to anyone willing to plant the vine. The Latin scientific name for Kudzu, or the kudzu vine, is Pueraria lobata or Pueraria thunbergiana.See the related link(s) listed below for more information: Where did kudzu come from? A native of Asia with many culinary and medicinal uses in the East, kudzu was introduced to America in large part in order to fight soil erosion. The Japanese government constructed a beautiful garden filled with plants from their country. These roots are hard to dig out completely. Plant Control:Mature patches of Kudzu can be difficult to contain let alone control. As with most aggressive exotic species, eradication requires persistence in monitoring and thoroughness in treating patches during a multi-year program. It grows quickly over other small plants, trees, and on to structures like telephone poles. I believed, as many still do, that kudzu had eaten much of the South and would soon sink its teeth into the rest of the nation. More important, it obscures the beauty of the South’s original landscape, reducing its rich diversity to a simplistic metaphor. It was conspicuous even at 65 miles per hour, reducing complex and indecipherable landscape details to one seemingly coherent mass. 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. The Japanese kudzu bug, first found in a garden near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport six years ago, apparently hitched a plane ride and is now infesting vines throughout the South, sucking the plants’ vital juices. 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. Thirty years younger He was, as cultural geographer Derek Alderman suggests, an evangelist. 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