What is Kudzu Plant?
The Kudzu plant is a fast-growing, semi-woody, climbing, and somewhat hairy plant that is native to China and Japan. This perennial vine belonging to the pea family is also referred to as “the vine that ate the South.”
The plant got this name after it became rampant in parts of Southeastern United States. Kudzu was first introduced in North America in the late 1800s as an ornamental. The invasive species readily spreads over plants and trees and kills them.
Kudzu invasion aside, this plant is also grown for its edible starchy roots and for a fiber that is made from its stem. The department of agriculture advises farmers to grow it as a fodder crop for livestock such as goats and sheep.
Types of Kudzu plants you can find in the flower markets
Kudzu Pueraria Montana is a species name in the botanical family Fabaceae. There are at least 3 known varieties (subspecies) in this species. Pueraria Montana is closely related to other species in the genus Pueraria:
- P. edulis
- P. phaseoloides
The general name used for these species and their hybrids is Kudzu. This invasive plant can grow 60 feet per year. The morphological differences between them are subtle and they can breed with each other.
Studies have shown that the Kudzu populations introduced in North Carolina have ancestry from more than one of the species. All these species of Kudzu may also be found in various flower markets today.