... A look back at Sunday's 60 Minutes As we mentioned, kudzu is a highly invasive plant species that basically takes over everything around it. It is able to rapidly smother supporting vegetation. Kudzu flowers are clustered, fragrant, reddish-purple, and pea-like in appearance. Kudzu is a vine. Our scientists have answers to some of your most frequently asked questions. Kudzu flowers smell like ripe grapes. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this web site. However, if y… Kudzu leaves, flowers, blossoms, vine tips and roots are edible. Kudzu coils and climbs anything in its path. Once established, kudzu grows at a rate of one foot per day with mature vines as long as 100 feet. From the 1930s through the 1950s, the Soil Conservation Service promoted it as a great tool for soil erosion control and was planted in abundance throughout the south. It is not known which came first, the name or the people. Because Kudzu is a nitrogen-fixing plant, it can outcompete most other plants in soils which lack nitrogen. The key is to look for hairy stems on the young Kudzu, and when it blossoms follow the grape aroma. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. Kudzu Kudzu takes over the side of a bridge. Each flower is on a separate petiole that connects to the stem. Kudzu is a fast growing vine native to China and Japan and was introduced into the United States in the late 1800s as fodder for livestock and to prevent soil erosion. Please click here for more information. Climate change also can lead to more regional drought, an opportunity for this versatile killer. Introduction: Brought to U.S. in 1876 as ornamental, spread from 1930s–1950s for erosion control, Identification: semi-woody vine with alternating leaves made of three oval-shaped or lobed leaflets. Length: They are approximately 4 to 6 mm long as adults Color: They are a mottled green and brown color. in an unwatered area in the Carrs, Capitts and Bunberoo (CCB) Creeks system. Kudzu leaves, flowers and roots can be eaten. Blossom time June-September. © 2020 The Nature Conservancy Appearance. Identification, health, A less common variety has white blossoms. As you walk closer to the vines you will locate intertwined clusters of them. Kudzu is a trailing or twining plant with stems up to three metres long and large edible underground tubers. Explore how we've evolved to tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. Megacopta cribraria. This plant spreads by rhizomes and stolons. a hairy leguminous climbing plant, Pueraria thunbergiana, of China and Japan, with trifoliate leaves and purple fragrant flowers QUIZZES BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ! Applying Herbicides Choose the right herbicide for your needs. Invasive species like kudzu are often more flexible and adaptable to change than many native plants and can outcompete them early in the growing season. This plant is a “volunteer”. To support our efforts please browse our store (books with medicinal info, etc.). Kudzu is a vine that is noted for its incredibly quick growth; at a growth rate of up to a foot (30 cm) per day, the plant has gained a reputation as a highly invasive species. According to Purdue University, continuous mowing and grazing - both cattle & goats will eat kudzu - will weaken and eventually control the plant. Cut the Vines. They have a unique flavor that is just a little bit sweet. The bare vines are used for craft projects and basket making. Kudzu Flower Blossoms Kudzu blooms from late July through September, depending on the climate and location. Over time, these effects of habitat loss can lead to species extinctions and a loss of overall biodiversity. Though its name makes it sound heavenly, the invasive tree of heaven is no angel. Kudzu Bugs Facts, Identification & Control Latin Name. Yes. 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… It has even been proposed that kudzu works as a kind of “aversion therapy,” like a lighter version of antabuse. About 8 feet tall with a woody tree-like trunk. Each flower is on a separate petiole. Kudzu is one of the 4 fastest growing plants on the planet. The Nature Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 53-0242652) under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. There is a spot of yellow on each stem of flowers. The kudzu plant produces fragrant blossoms which you can make into jelly, syrup and candy. It prefers sunny locations primarily in the southern, eastern, and central US. This loss of native plants harms other plants, insects and animals that adapted alongside them, leading to cascading effects throughout an ecosystem. Little did we know that kudzu is quite a killer, overtaking and growing over anything in its path. The vine produces a long stem (15cm or 6”) of reddish –purple flowers. | So far, scientific support for the benefits of kudzu is limited. *Mobile Terms & Conditions EdibleWildFood.com is informational in nature. It’s no secret that there is a kudzu problem in the South. Abandoned buildings, cars, and other items are quickly covered by this fast growing vine. Including bamboo, kelp and corn, kudzu can grow up to 1 foot (12 inches) a day. Kudzu is a plant that is native to Japan, but very prevalent in the southern United States due to its importation as a ground cover in the 19th century. It grows along field edges, in open fields, forest edges, roadsides, and near riparian areas. Kudzu, also known as Japanese arrowroot, is vine that belongs to the pea family. Kudzu Flower Photo: The vine produces a long stem of beautiful purple to redish-purple flowers. 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