What is Kudzu you say? Its an amazing plant. So amazing that some say its an alien species. The Japanese love it, but it grows normal in Japan. In the American South its a predator.
- It grows more than 7 feet (more than 2 meters) meters a week. Almost nothing stops it.
- It takes 10 to 15 years to control a Kudzu patch – even with chemicals. Effective herbicides (such as napalm and agent orange) often destroy the soil. Of 12 known herbicides, 10 have no effect, and 2 make it grow better.
- Its covers more than 2.8 million square km of the American South. If it were not for winter, there would only be 40 American states. Patches often are 6+ miles (10+ kilometers) long.
- Its even been called “The vegetable form of cancer”.
Really, what is it?
Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) was brought to the United States in 1876 for a Japanese Exposition in Philadelphia, and basically “escaped”. In Japan it generally grows like a normal plant, however the American South is a perfect climate for it. Introducing Kudzu was like introducing a match to gasoline, and the results can now be easily seen.
If you really want to laugh at reality, check out some of the kudzu pages below. These are some of the best links to kudzu that I have found.
Where can I get Kudzu and other such questions
I have collected answers to these and other questions in the Kudzu FAQ.
- Amazing Story of Kudzu – Love It, Or Hate It… It Grows On You!
- Gardening tips from down south – How to grow Kudzu
- The Kudzu Conspiracy (PDF)
- How fast can you run? (PDF) – A realistic, but comical point of view
- Hungry sheep may solve FL kudzu menace – (PDF) CNN/Reuters news story.
- Santa Rosa outlaws Kudzu! (PDF, See Page 3)
About the PDF files
Many of kudzu sites were taken down or moved. In these cases I have attempted to find the new links and keep them current. In others, they were too valuable to lose, so I have made archives available as PDF files. If you cannot view PDF’s, please download the free reader.