What Is a Kudzu Plant?


Quick Answer

Kudzu is a fast-growing perennial vine of the genus Pueraria. It is native to eastern and southeastern Asia and some Pacific Islands. It was introduced to the United States at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 and is now considered an invasive species.

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Full Answer

Kudzu was widely planted in the American Southeast in the mid 1930s through the mid 1950s for erosion control. It was banned from use as a ground cover by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1953, but by then over 1 million acres had been planted. Kudzu kills other plants by climbing over them and blocking them from sunlight. It also breaks supporting tree branches with its weight and uproots shrubs and trees. It is difficult to eradicate, as it spreads readily by seeds, runners and rhizomes.

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