kudzu USDA PLANTS Symbol: PUMO
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vines
Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) Maesen & S. Almeida

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Fabales: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Native Range: China & Japan (REHD);

Kudzu is a climbing, deciduous vine capable of reaching lengths of over 100 ft. (30.5 m). Leaves are alternate, compound (with three, usually lobed, leaflets), hairy and up to 5.4 in. (15 cm) long. Flowering occurs in midsummer, when 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long, purple, fragrant flowers hang, in clusters, in the axils of the leaves. Fruit are brown, hairy, flat, 3 in. (7.6 cm) long, 0.3 in. (0.8 cm) wide seed pods. Preferred habitat includes open, disturbed areas such as roadsides, right-of-ways, forest edges and old fields. Kudzu often grows over, smothers and kills all other vegetation, including trees. Kudzu is native to Asia and was first introduced into the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. It was widely planted throughout the eastern United States in an attempt to control erosion.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Flower(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; October
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; An invasive plant in the South
Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); in September
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); November
James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Kudzu kills trees by shading them and spreads inexorably, mostly through soil movement and vegetative growth
Kerry Britton, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Golden hairy young vines and silvery backside of leaflet in July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Research; four years after planted on eroded field in 1939
USDA NRCS Archive, USDA NRCS, Bugwood.org
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Research; pigs grazing on field
USDA NRCS Archive, USDA NRCS, Bugwood.org
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Research; cattle grazing on field interplanted with caley pear to extend grazing in 1949
USDA NRCS Archive, USDA NRCS, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Stop Kudzu! Brookside Gardens
Jil Swearingen, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Winter photo. Travelers Rest, SC.
Randy Cyr, Greentree, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Completely covering a road cut-through. Floyd County, KY.
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Winter scene of vines draped in tree crowns. Macon, Georgia
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Covering an old house in the South.
Jerry Asher, USDI Bureau of Land Management, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Covering a house
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Johnny Randall, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Sprouts developing at root crowns in April following a winter burn.
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
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Control; Aerial herbicide application
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
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Control; Broadcast treatment of herbicide spray to kudzu.
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Bark; November
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Stand; resprouting from root crown after fire
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Stand; resprouting from root crown after fire
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); infestation, SC
Robert L. Anderson, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); flowers habit with ridge
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); tuberous root
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Seedling(s);
Nancy Dagley, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; invading a cotton field
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

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U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina)
Booker T Washington National Monument (Virginia)
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (Maryland, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia)
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina & Tennessee)
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (West Virginia)
Kings Mountain National Military Park (South Carolina)
National Capital Parks East (Washington, D.C.)
Rock Creek National Park (Washington, D.C.)
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)
Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)
Vicksburg National Military Park (Mississippi)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group
Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 2004
Faith Campbell, 1998
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Gulf of Mexico Regional Panel, Aquatic Nuisance Species Annual Report, 2001
Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.  2003. Invasive Plant Control in Maryland. Home and Garden Information Center, Home and Garden Mimeo HG88. 4 pp.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Missouri Department of Conservation,
Native Plant Society of Oregon, 2008
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1998
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tatyana Livschultz, Pennsylvania survey of invasive plants,
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2009