Kudzu covers more acreage in the southeast United States than any other plant species and forms a dense canopy, smothering vegetation, fences, forests, pastures, and farm land. Kudzu may be cut, mowed and tilled, though the plant remains must be destroyed to keep it from propagating. It can also result in breaking branches of shrubs and trees and causing trees to fall over and uproot. Even managing kudzu can cause environmental harm. Processed into a powdered starch, kudzu root is prized as a thickening agent and as an ingredient in Eastern herbal remedies." Bowen explains how Kudzu has been a direct threat to all plants in and around Tennessee. Kudzu leaves grow in bunches of three and measure 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) in diameter. Kudzu has been used since 600 AD to help reduce alcohol consumption; now, it's used as a way to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation. The invasive species that are bad for the environment are usually non-native invasive species. Kudzu has been known as a ground cover plant, but has severe negative effects on the soil and atmospheric chemistry. Science — Invasive kudzu drives carbon out of the soil, into the atmosphere And its range is expanding north with the warming climate. Heavy grazing by herbivores such as cows can help kill the plant over time. Photographer: ... Kudzu eventually became more of a scourge than an asset and is now classified as a noxious weed in 13 states. But there is more bad news than good with kudzu in modern life. The rubbery vines can be used for basket weaving, and basket makers can find an almost endless supply of this raw material for their craft. There's a lot of misinformation about this plant. Kudzu, an invasive vine that is spreading across the southeastern United States and northward, is a major contributor to large-scale increases of the pollutant surface ozone, according to a … The U.S. Forest Service recounts a story in which an elderly woman described her constant nightmares over the kudzu vine in her garden that was aggressively attempting to cover her house. Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. It smothers plants under a thick layer of foliage, preventing them from getting the light they need. Here's what to know about kudzu's benefits. Kudzu damages the lives of many plants and also humans by destroying diverse plants habitations and also the key source of power for most humans, due to the increase in kudzu habitations through the United States, Bowen, B. For those without the resources to pay for complex management strategies, kudzu can become a nightmare as it attacks an inhabited house. Here's what the research says so far about kudzu health … ... ozone in the lower levels of the atmosphere is bad … Kudzu does not just attack wild plant communities -- kudzu has wreaked havoc on farmlands, destroying entire fields of crops. How to Landscape Fences to Keep a Dog Out of a Garden, Dog Types That Affect Homeowners Insurance, How to Fertilize Vegetable Gardens Without Chemicals, Plants for a Future: Pueraria Montana Lobata: Kudzu, Missouri Botanical Garden: Pueraria Montana Var. Meanwhile, vines continue to grow as much as 2 feet (61 centimeters) a day in summer months. The secretion can stain just about any surface, even skin. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, the kudzu is also a deep-rooted plant, and this makes the removal even more problematic. The plant is classified as a noxious weed by the U.S. government and is illegal to grow in many states. They are attracted to light colors, which makes their smelly, messy secretion all the more annoying. When broken down, kudzu root has a thick and sticky consistency resembling a type of mucus that naturally coats the lining of the stomach. A brief history on why southern soils are so bad - which has everything to do with why half the region is now covered in kudzu, one of the world's most infamous invasive species. As a botanist and horticulturist, I couldn’t help but wonder why people thought kudzu was a unique threat when so many other vines grow just as fast in the warm, wet climate of the South. Kudzu was introduced to the United States in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, PA. to celebrate the 100th birthday of the U.S. Try adding kudzu to your list of natural treatments for an upset stomach. Taking kudzu along with birth control pills might decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. The roots can grow up to 7 feet long, weighing approximately 220 pounds. by Debora Van Brenk, University of Western Ontario. In alternative medicine, kudzu is typically used for the following conditions: 1. alcoholism 2. menopausal symptoms 3. diabetes 4. common cold 5. fever Not all of these uses are supported by clinical evidence. Applying the chemical causes an entire area to become infertile, making it impossible for plants to grow for several years. Burning the plant also comes with risks. When planted by the hundreds of acres in the 1920s, kudzu … According to the PMC, kudzu is an effective remedy for stomach issues, relieving indigestion, constipation and even gastritis . The reason people dread having this vine on their property is because it can grow up to 60 ft. per year. If they stayed outside kudzu bugs may not be so bad. Kudzu bugs secrete a foul odor that not only smells bad, but can also leave a mark. The problem is serious enough that railroad companies must put kudzu removal in their annual budgets, according to the US Forest Service. Even where legal, kudzu should not be planted due to its capacity to escape cultivation. Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Fariss Samarrai: May 17, 2010 — Kudzu, an invasive vine that is spreading across the southeastern United States and northward, is a major contributor to large-scale increases of the pollutant surface ozone, according to a study published the week of May 17 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. What is kudzu (pueraria lobata)? Kudzu contains isoflavones, estrogen-like compounds thought to offer various health benefits. Kudzu is a vine. One of the only effective pesticides used on kudzu, picloram, kills nearby plants and sometimes seeps into soil, contaminating groundwater. Why Kudzu There is no doubt that The Kudzu Vine is the most hated plant in the south eastern United States. These plants colonize habitats, and exclude the native plants and animals. It does have some redeeming qualities. According to Schafer (2015), “Kudzu overwhelms other plants, including crops, as it spreads into their territory, blocking sunlight and interfering with chlorophyll production. This causes the train to slip, sometimes causing the train to derail. Kudzu is a climbing, semi-woody, vine with deciduous, lobed leaves. The increase of nitrogen content also causes the atmosphere to create more ozone which is harmful to the environment surrounding the kudzu habitation. How kudzu became the 'bad seed' of the plant world. If you’re on medications that slow blood clotting, please talk to your doctor first before consuming kudzu in any form as it may cause bruising and bleeding. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/14595617?accountid=12144. This has earned it the nickname "the vine that ate the South". Extensive kudzu invasion could lead directly to an increase in the number of days with high ozone levels, a new study suggests. Under the right growing conditions, it spreads easily, covering virtually everything that doesn't move out of its path. This vine has been used for food, forage, and has a number of other interesting uses. Kudzu was introduced in North America in 1876 in the southeastern U.S. to prevent soil erosion.But kudzu spread quickly and overtook farms and buildings, leading some to call to kudzu "the vine that ate the South.” Kudzu vine isn't all bad news. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Kudzu is a prolific climber that can fell high-voltage transformers and high tension wires, causing power outages and necessitating costly repairs. Kudzu in Alabama.....and in North Carolina An "invasive species" is a plant, animal, or pathogen that aggressively colonizes habitats. Taking kudzu along with diabetes medications could ca… The biggest threat to natural areas: Invasive exotic pest plants. lobata), an aggressive vine native to Japan and China, was brought to the U.S. in 1876, where it was recommended to farmers as animal forage and erosion control at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. "Much to the surprise of those who must battle the vine, kudzu has a fine reputation in Japan, where it has been used for centuries in medicines and in foods. Kudzu is extremely bad for the ecosystems that it invades because it smothers other plants and trees under a blanket of leaves, hogging all the sunlight and keeping other species in its shade. The fast growing vines can quickly engulf power poles and power lines causing problems for electric companies. Trees are vulnerable to kudzu vines, which can damage tree branches and trunks.” (Abstract). What Is Bad About a Kudzu Plant?. The vine can grow up to 1 foot a day and can literally uproot trees and shrubs. This effect of the soil causes the kudzu to be able to expand into the areas which were once inhabited by the native plants once strived. By the time many property owners notice it is a problem, the plant has begun to take over ground space, cover fences and walls, and replace precious other native plants. Kudzu. It has been spreading rapidly in the southern U.S., "easily outpacing the use of herbicide spraying and mowing, as well increasing the costs of these controls by $6 million annually". Kudzu may slow blood clotting. It increases the nitrogen content to a level that causes native plants to die out, leaving them with soil content that makes them unable to strive. Once established, kudzu grows at a rate of one foot per day with mature vines as long as 100 feet. In addition to taking over gardens, kudzu can quickly climb, cover and infiltrate abandoned houses, sometimes pulling them down. Tennessee Conservationist, 68(1), 14. Q: What are invasive species, and why are they bad? Kudzu is an invasive plant species in the United States. It can grow in low light, dense environments that most plants cannot which causes the diversity of plants decrease. When kudzu grows over train tracks, trains collect slippery slime as they pass over it. Kudzu has damaged industries that are supported by power lines, they are dense and heavy when they grow into power lines and poles making them collapse causing power outages. Kudzu grows out of control quickly, spreading through runners (stems that root at the tip when in contact with moist soil), rhizomes and by vines that root at the nodes to form new plants. That's why some people call it the "mile-a-minute vine." So far, scientific support for the benefits of kudzu is limited. Kudzu is extremely bad for the ecosystems that it invades because it smothers other plants and trees under a blanket of leaves, hogging all the sunlight and keeping other species in its shade. Kudzu is a fast-growing, woody, somewhat hairy vine that may grow to a length of 18 metres (60 feet) in one season and features a substantial taproot.It has large compound leaves with three broad leaflets with hairy margins. (2002). Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Malcolm Campbell - Jul 16, 2014 3:50 pm UTC Attaching to a tree, pole, fence or building, kudzu can grow up to 80 feet (24 meters) high. Be planted due to its capacity to escape cultivation United states literature the... To 1 foot a day and can literally uproot trees and shrubs 2 to 4 inches ( 5 to centimeters. In their annual budgets, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden the biggest threat to all in. 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