Heavy grazing by herbivores such as cows can help kill the plant over time. According to Schafer (2015), “Kudzu overwhelms other plants, including crops, as it spreads into their territory, blocking sunlight and interfering with chlorophyll production. In addition to taking over gardens, kudzu can quickly climb, cover and infiltrate abandoned houses, sometimes pulling them down. Kudzu. Kudzu may slow blood clotting. Kudzu is a threat to other plants because kudzu grows so fast and blankets other plants, even encircling their stems and tree trunks. Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. Under the right growing conditions, it spreads easily, covering virtually everything that doesn't move out of its path. Kudzu isn't all bad. Q: What are invasive species, and why are they bad? Science — Invasive kudzu drives carbon out of the soil, into the atmosphere And its range is expanding north with the warming climate. What Is Bad About a Kudzu Plant?. This causes the train to slip, sometimes causing the train to derail. Kudzu may be cut, mowed and tilled, though the plant remains must be destroyed to keep it from propagating. Kudzu is a vine. There's a lot of misinformation about this plant. Here's what to know about kudzu's benefits. Kudzu vine isn't all bad news. Taking kudzu along with birth control pills might decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. Even managing kudzu can cause environmental harm. When broken down, kudzu root has a thick and sticky consistency resembling a type of mucus that naturally coats the lining of the stomach. The secretion can stain just about any surface, even skin. Kudzu leaves grow in bunches of three and measure 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) in diameter. Kudzu is an invasive plant species in the United States. It does have some redeeming qualities. According to research published in 2010 (Hickman et al. Lobata, Plant Conservation Alliance: Fact Sheet: Kudzu, U.S. Forest Service: Kudzu's Invasion into Southern United States Life and Culture, U.S. Department of Agriculture: Invasive Species: Plants: Kudzu, Common Diseases and Pest Problems of Confederate Jasmine. According to the PMC, kudzu is an effective remedy for stomach issues, relieving indigestion, constipation and even gastritis . Kudzu, the Good Plant Gone Bad October 05, 2017. 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. So, where does it really come from, and what good and bad impacts has it had on the part of the United States where it grows the most - that is, the southeastern U.S.? Kudzu has been known as a ground cover plant, but has severe negative effects on the soil and atmospheric chemistry. Kudzu grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, where it grows in full sun or partial shade in most soil types. 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. It can also result in breaking branches of shrubs and trees and causing trees to fall over and uproot. According to Schafer (2015), “Kudzu overwhelms other plants, including crops, as it spreads into their territory, blocking sunlight and interfering with chlorophyll production. The reason people dread having this vine on their property is because it can grow up to 60 ft. per year. Bowen explains how Kudzu has been a direct threat to all plants in and around Tennessee. Kudzu is a plant that has earned a bad reputation as “the vine that ate the South.” And although its introduction to the United States is not without some cost, it has some impressive benefits, as well. 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. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The increase of nitrogen content also causes the atmosphere to create more ozone which is harmful to the environment surrounding the kudzu habitation. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Meanwhile, vines continue to grow as much as 2 feet (61 centimeters) a day in summer months. Kudzu contains isoflavones, estrogen-like compounds thought to offer various health benefits. It can grow in low light, dense environments that most plants cannot which causes the diversity of plants decrease. Extensive kudzu invasion could lead directly to an increase in the number of days with high ozone levels, a new study suggests. Why Kudzu There is no doubt that The Kudzu Vine is the most hated plant in the south eastern United States. Trees are vulnerable to kudzu vines, which can damage tree branches and trunks.” (Abstract). The plant is classified as a noxious weed by the U.S. government and is illegal to grow in many states. How kudzu became the 'bad seed' of the plant world. When kudzu grows over train tracks, trains collect slippery slime as they pass over it. One of the only effective pesticides used on kudzu, picloram, kills nearby plants and sometimes seeps into soil, contaminating groundwater. Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences. Kudzu covers a … They are attracted to light colors, which makes their smelly, messy secretion all the more annoying. 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. Taking kudzu along with diabetes medications could ca… Photographer: ... Kudzu eventually became more of a scourge than an asset and is now classified as a noxious weed in 13 states. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. So far, scientific support for the benefits of kudzu is limited. The invasive species that are bad for the environment are usually non-native invasive species. Kudzu is a prolific climber that can fell high-voltage transformers and high tension wires, causing power outages and necessitating costly repairs. "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. It was then used in the South East to to provide shade to homes, and as an ornamental species. Schafer, E. D. (2015). ... ozone in the lower levels of the atmosphere is bad … The fast growing vines can quickly engulf power poles and power lines causing problems for electric companies. 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. For those without the resources to pay for complex management strategies, kudzu can become a nightmare as it attacks an inhabited house. 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. Kudzu has the ability to cycle nitrogen through the soil and the air at a rate higher than many other plants, and research has found that nitrogen rates are higher in areas where kudzu is plentiful. Estimates of the vine's spread vary, from the United States Forest Service's 2015 estimate of 2,500 acres per year to the Depa The biggest threat to natural areas: Invasive exotic pest plants. 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's vigorous growth habit threatens native ecosystems. There are some known risks of kudzu root that you should be aware of before consuming. 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 in Alabama.....and in North Carolina An "invasive species" is a plant, animal, or pathogen that aggressively colonizes habitats. This has earned it the nickname "the vine that ate the South". (2002). Tennessee Conservationist, 68(1), 14. Kudzu does not just attack wild plant communities -- kudzu has wreaked havoc on farmlands, destroying entire fields of crops. Even where legal, kudzu should not be planted due to its capacity to escape cultivation. Here's what the research says so far about kudzu health … Malcolm Campbell - Jul 16, 2014 3:50 pm UTC 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. 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 … 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. 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. 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. In addition to making excellent fodder for cattle and goats, the plant also controls erosion. The plant is sometimes spoken of as "the vine that ate the South," according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. 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. That's why some people call it the "mile-a-minute vine." If they stayed outside kudzu bugs may not be so bad. Unfortunately, the kudzu is also a deep-rooted plant, and this makes the removal even more problematic. Kudzu bugs secrete a foul odor that not only smells bad, but can also leave a mark. Burning the plant also comes with risks. Processed into a powdered starch, kudzu root is prized as a thickening agent and as an ingredient in Eastern herbal remedies." This vine has been used for food, forage, and has a number of other interesting uses. Birth control pillsmay interact with kudzu since kudzu, too, contains estrogen-like effects. It smothers plants under a thick layer of foliage, preventing them from getting the light they need. Attaching to a tree, pole, fence or building, kudzu can grow up to 80 feet (24 meters) high. 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 is difficult to control with its deep root system and its growth of up to a foot (30 cm) a day. 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. Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. Once established, kudzu grows at a rate of one foot per day with mature vines as long as 100 feet. 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. Kudzu has been known as a ground cover plant, but has severe negative effects on the soil and atmospheric chemistry. 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". These plants colonize habitats, and exclude the native plants and animals. 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. When planted by the hundreds of acres in the 1920s, kudzu … Kudzu is a climbing, semi-woody, vine with deciduous, lobed leaves. 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. by Debora Van Brenk, University of Western Ontario. 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. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/14595617?accountid=12144. 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. Try adding kudzu to your list of natural treatments for an upset stomach. The vine can grow up to 1 foot a day and can literally uproot trees and shrubs. 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. Why is it bad? The problem is serious enough that railroad companies must put kudzu removal in their annual budgets, according to the US Forest Service. What is kudzu (pueraria lobata)? The roots can grow up to 7 feet long, weighing approximately 220 pounds. 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. Applying the chemical causes an entire area to become infertile, making it impossible for plants to grow for several years. But there is more bad news than good with kudzu in modern life. 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.