So amazing that some say its an alien species. One foot a day would have been more accurate. The Japanese love it, but it grows normal in Japan. It was first introduced to the United States during the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 where it was touted as a great ornamental plant for its sweet-smelling blooms and sturdy vines. Fairchild discovered that kudzu is surprisingly resistant to reproduction through traditional seeding techniques. In the American South its a predator. The book became a best-seller in Atlanta and was adopted as a textbook at a handful of Southern agriculture colleges. And the Japanese promoted kudzu—“the wonder vine”—as a plant capable of taking root on land that couldn’t be cultivated for anything else. Kudzu and Japanese Knotweed Rob Richardson North Carolina State University Aquatic/Non-cropland Weed Management. In 1976, Yellow River Farm’s new owner found that kudzu had devoured most of Cope’s 700 acres, along with his house and barns, too. Mother Nature is no help either. World War II had altered economic priorities, placing new emphasis on efficiencies and economies of scale. Kudzu. In 2009, the Japanese kudzu bug, a natural predator for kudzu, made it to the United States and has been cutting back the grip the plant held for decades. “Soil erosion is not merely topsoil being moved off the land. T. Corgaghessan Boyle, novelist and short story writer (Water Music). Kudzu festivals cropped up, where young men rose to “tell how [they were] raising hogs in gullies which are covered up in kudzu,” and young lookers like Martha Jane Stewart Wilson, of Hale County, Ala., got the “thrill” and “privilege of being the Queen of Kudzu.” Food companies, meanwhile, tried to market products like “kudzup.” Business Week called the plant “cash on the vine.” Time called Cope kudzu’s “chief cultist.”. In early 1900s, it was recognized and promoted as a forage crop and planted throughout the southeastern U.S. According to a study at a Georgia research station, the plant could stop 80 percent more water and 99 percent more soil from running off than cotton could. They weren’t in the business of cash crop farming, per se, but maintained a small herd of animals. Indeed, after its auspicious debut at the Centennial Exposition, kudzu soon came to be prized as both a pretty ornamental and a cheap forage crop in the South, where an abundance of sunlight and humidity helped it spread like wildfire. Alexander Haig, American army general and Secretary of State for President Ronald Reagan. In 1962, as the story goes, Cope went out one evening to shoo off a crowd but made it just three feet from his front porch before a heart attack killed him. In others, they were too valuable to lose, so I have made archives available as PDF files. Of 12 known herbicides, 10 have no effect, and 2 make it grow better. This has earned it the nickname "the vine that ate the South". During the Depression, kudzu was enlisted in the fight against soil erosion and planted en masse with taxpayer funds. But the exhibit that drew the most oohs and aahs was a garden in the Japanese pavilion where gawkers clamored to get a glimpse of a climbing vine that newspaper reporters claimed grew “a mile a minute”: kudzu. The real danger—a “dragon,” as the New York Times put it—was erosion. If it were not for winter, there would only be 40 American states. Kudzu, a Japanese vine species invasive in the southeast United States, growing in Atlanta, Georgia (Public Domain). “One of the women said, ‘I have these nightmares of these vines coming in at night and getting me.’” The tenor of the outreach—“help me, help me!”— has persisted for more than 30 years, adds Miller. 3 Medicinal and food value. All else is secondary.” Cope went on to describe people who accosted him on the street and expressed their alarm about the rapid spread of kudzu. Kudzu was introduced from China and Japan, coming to the United States during the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia as part of a Japanese garden exhibit. Effective herbicides (such as napalm and agent orange) often destroy the soil. Distribution • 1876 introduction • 85 million seedlings planted for erosion control • Estimated to cover over 3 million hectares in eastern U.S. Everyone is affected,” he began. P. montana, P. thunbergiana), is one of about 20 species in the genus Pueraria in the pea family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae.It is native to southern Japan and southeast China in eastern Asia. 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. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. The Japanese Hare and other rabbits. Pueraria Species, Japanese Arrowroot, Kudzu Bean, Kudzu Vine, (Pueraria montana var. The amazing wonders on display at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia—the first world’s fair held in the United States—included Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, a Remington typewriter, Heinz ketchup and Hines root beer. Kudzu roots are among the largest in the world, ranging in length from three to seven feet and weighing between 200 to over 400 pounds. “We were in a depression and it turned out to be the cheapest and most effective item that would grow fast enough to do the kind of job that was necessary,” Young recalled. “There is nothing more important to the nation and to you and me than holding soil and water on lands where rain falls. If you really want to laugh at reality, check out some of the kudzu pages below. “Within my first six months of getting hired to do invasive plant management for the U.S. Forest Service, I got letters from two ladies whose deceased husbands had planted kudzu, and it was growing all around their houses,” recalls Miller, a Forest Service ecologist. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. America needed a vegetative magic bullet to seize its soil. The vine proved tricky to harvest—Pleas had to invent a plow strong enough to yank its woody roots from the soil—yet the animals were ravenous for the roughage. Kudzu, a nitrogen-fixing legume, also replenished depleted sources of nitrogen in the soil; it kept the ground cool and trapped so much dirt that eroded ditches could be rehabilitated, researchers found. 1 How to identify kudzu. Effective herbicides (such as napalm and agent orange) often destroy the soil. Postal Service. The kudzu arbors soon became popular spots for teenagers to congregate come dark. But this was not serious in my opinion.” In the same film, then presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, of Georgia, one of the states most overgrown with kudzu, said, “Let it grow, let it grow.”. Large numbers are crawling on the vine plants. Pleas began experimenting with kudzu as a forage crop. Contents hide. By the 1950s, legions were asking for help with eradication and begging for tax relief when property became useless, uttering, “It was like discovering Old Blue was a chicken killer.” The Kudzu Club of America disbanded and the Department of Agriculture stopped its planting program. Many native natural enemies have been identified as predators of kudzu bugs and P. saccharalis, a specialist egg parasitoid, is being considered as a classical biological control agent of kudzu bugs. Des Weiteren soll Kudzu bei der Alkohol- und Rauchentwöhnung helfen. “But nothing eradicates it 100 percent.”. These days, many of the cries for help come by e-mail. Within a dozen years’ time, Cope had tamed some 200 acres with a novel livestock and crop-rotation strategy: front porch farming. And researchers affiliated with Auburn University in Alabama are continuing the trials with herbicides that Jim Miller launched so long ago. It takes 10-15 years to control a patch of kudzu. In the meantime Cope brought his kudzu gospel to the masses. Its covers more than 2.8 million square km of the American South. Some call it "the vine that ate the South." What is Kudzu you say? Scientific Name: Pueraria montana var. By the 1950s, the miracle plant acquired new monikers, including the “cuss-you vine,” “the green scourge” and “the vine that ate the South.”. In quarantined labs, Department of Agriculture scientists are exploring whether insect predators native to Asia can destroy kudzu without harming crops or livestock. “It gives promise of being one of the leading sources of wealth in certain sections of the country in the near future,” said another. We would be idiotic to refuse its help.”. Kudzu consuming a building in Alabama in 1990. Goats are fond of it, not sure how many goats are in Japan though. I do! “But unfortunately, they just put big BandAids on the land. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Soil Conservation Service paid southern farmers to plant kudzu to reduce soil erosion on deforested lands, resulting in … Ihr ursprüngliches Verbreitungsgebiet liegt in Ostasien: China, Japan, Korea. Here is kudzu holding in an entire hillside practically all by itself, amazing to see in real life. With no native predators and the innate ability to outcompete other U.S. plants, kudzu grows rampant, making it one difficult pest to eliminate. But with kudzu proliferating in at least 32 states, northeast to Maine and northwest to Washington, most efforts hinge on wiping out the stealth creepers. Japanese knotweed has come a long way since Philipp Franz von Siebold, the doctor-in-residence for the Dutch at Nagasaki, brought it to the Utrecht plant fair in the Netherlands in the 1840s. But Cope had other plans. Ibrahim Rugova, first President of Kosovo (1992–2000) and was re-elected by parliament (2002–2006). In 1949, Cope published Front Porch Farmer, part memoir, part how-to manual, part contrarian call-to-arms. At the dawn of the new millennium, Time magazine labeled the government-sponsored proliferation of kudzu across America as one of the worst ideas of the 20th century. Decades of cotton production without crop rotation had destroyed nutrient balances in the country’s farmland. It flourishes where nothing else will grow, in the best or poorest soil, and owing to its hardy nature, requires little or no care.”. It grows more than 7 feet (more than 2 meters) meters a week. Sorry about the pic quality. Kudzu is an ongoing natural disaster that defies containment. The vine is nowhere near being eradicated, but it is no longer threatening to eat the South. I have collected answers to these and other questions in the Kudzu FAQ. Praying Mantis love to eat Kudzu Bugs ( stink bugs). Letters from farmers— more than 3,000 in one year alone— filled his mailbox with questions about revitalizing their land with kudzu. They can use a scent to repel predators such as stink bugs. During the dust bowl era of the 1930’s and 1940’s, Kudzu was heavily planted in order to help stop soil erosion. The last thing anyone wanted in a forest was kudzu. Henry Armstrong, the only boxer to hold three titles simultaneously. The plant was initially introduced as a means of controlling soil erosion. 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. Since the 1970s, an Alabaman named Jim Miller has operated what could be described as the 911 line for kudzu victims. The kudzu bugs invading the United States originated from the Kyushu region of Japan ( Jenkins and Eaton 2011, Hosokawa et al. It takes 10 to 15 years to control a Kudzu patch – even with chemicals. On the orders of the newly created Soil Erosion Service (later renamed the Soil Conservation Service), dozens of non-native species, including kudzu, were subjected to tests. It was originally exported from Japan in 1876 and was considered an ornamental plant. Patches often are 6+ miles (10+ kilometers) long. “I’d get up in a county meeting with a slide show and explain my work and these old guys would say, ‘We know how to control kudzu!’ Either it had something to do with diesel fuel, goats or hogs. The murder hornet is poised to follow the trajectory of other invasive species that have devastated North American ecosystems. Miller has spent the bulk of his career looking for a way to smother kudzu. Kudzu is our number one aid in this job. Some beetles escape from a ship and fly to a small island covered with grass but with no trees or beetle predators. And now evidence has emerged that kudzu may even be contributing to climate change. To subscribe, click here. Kudzu also made a hay “of good texture” and was soon deemed a promising Southern crop by Fairchild’s colleagues at the Department of Agriculture. It takes 10 to 15 years to control a Kudzu patch – even with chemicals. Close-up of the Kudzu bloom. But over time a growing sense of wariness spread across the land as kudzu crept up telephone poles, entombed street signs, mummified abandoned automobiles, and created broad canopies in yards and gardens that blocked sunlight and obliterated other plants. Kudzu, old infestation draped on killed trees in July - Photo by James H. Miller; USDA, Forest Service. The Invasive Species Kudzu: Kudzu was originally from Southeast Asia in Japan, China, and Korea. 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". Maesen & S. M. Almeida ex Sanjappa & Predeep (ITIS) Common Name: Kudzu. Word of the venture quickly caught the attention of the U.S. These are some of the best links to kudzu that I have found. Had he just stumbled into a business opportunity? Georges Seurat, French painter, founder and leader of the Pointilism style. lobata) by VineWorld Jul 13, 2012 8:00 PM. Its members— some 20,000-strong—pledged to grow 8 million acres of the vine throughout the South. Hugh Hammond Bennett, head of the Soil Conservation Service, proclaimed, “What, short of a miracle, can you call this plant?”, In 1927, the preacher’s son, former seaman, straw-hat-sporting Channing Cope bought 700 tired acres of property south of Atlanta and dubbed it Yellow River Farm. Harry Reid, politician; the Nevada Democrat served as Senate Majority Leader (2007– ). It grows up to 1 ft. (30 cm) every day in the summer months, and can break power lines, kill trees and collapse buildings. lobata (Willd.) He traveled frequently to exchange war stories with other ecologists and agriculturalists. More recently, researchers affiliated with Harvard Medical School found that a kudzu extract helps curb binge drinking and may be useful in treating alcoholism. Charles and Lillie Pleas were like many homesteaders when they dropped kudzu around their house in Chipley, Fla., in the early 1900s, seeking low-cost relief from the hot summer sun. Killing off an entire swarm of kudzu bugs, they’ll likely come back later. Blooms on Kudzu mid Sept, west KY, USA . “We have overcome frustration, confusion, drudgery.” Kudzu was the lifeblood of his system. Kristen Hinman is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C. Kudzu had no natural killers, no insects or pests, to keep it in check. He supplemented the how-to show with a daily newspaper column in the Atlanta Constitution. Japanese kudzu; They’re also often found in huge numbers crawling all over the vine plants, and they can release a scent to repel predators just like stink bugs. “If I’d been around in the ’30s and read the Front Porch Farmer, and seen creeks dried up like deserts, I probably would have done the same thing people did in those days—plant kudzu,” says Miller. Dr. Joseph Bell, British physician believed to be the prototype of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective Sherlock Holmes. The plant has no native predators, as it does in Japan and China, where it originated. One reason is a lack of natural predators. As an ad in Good Housekeeping put it, “This is the most remarkable hardy climbing vine of the age, and one that should be planted by every one desiring a dense shade. The exotic perennial with pliant, fuzzy runners, broad leaves and small clusters of brilliant purple blossoms that emitted the sweet smell of grapes was also a beautiful sight to behold. 4 Other uses of kudzu. It’s a perennial vine which is spreading like mad, smothering everything in its way. Angepriesen wird Kudzu mit Aussagen wie zum Beispiel \"Verbessert die Durchblutung\", \"hilft der Verdauung\", \"lindert Wechseljahrsbeschwerden\" oder \"reduziert Muskelschmerzen und Steifheit\". And its root system— which could plunge seven feet into the ground, and weigh 400 or 500 pounds—was no match for mowers. The Japanese love it, but it grows normal in Japan. In Japan, kuzu has been praised in poetry and considered a healthy food and ideal thickener for over 1000 years. 6 Disadvantages of kudzu. Charles Ringling, one of the seven Ringling brothers of circus fame. If you cannot view PDF’s, please download the free reader. Even if you kill a swarm of kudzu insects, they may be able to return later. Livestock fed on it in summer and fall; come winter they moved to another pasture while the kudzu worked over the nutrients in the soil and replenished itself for the following grazing season. The ravaged, fragile topsoil of the Great Plains and South were blowing away, leaving a gaping Dust Bowl across the country’s southern and midsections by the early 1930s. As the beetles feed, they destroy all the grasses. Kudzu. How a wonder vine unveiled by Japan at the 1876 Centennial began eating America. In Japan it generally grows like a normal plant, however the American South is a perfect climate for it. I've seen this happen several times lately and caught this one on video. Kudzu (Pueraria montana), von Japanisch kuzu (葛) ist eine Pflanzenart aus der Familie der Hülsenfrüchtler (Fabaceae). Doubting that the Pleases’ claims of the plant’s rapid growth rate could be true, investigators launched a fraud investigation—and then closed the case upon laying eyes on the vine. “Channing Cope is a prophet.” But objections soon surfaced. Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer and lawyer (Zorba the Greek). In our work we are face to face with the task of holding, restoring, and putting to work a large part of our farm which has been washed away by carelessness and ignorance. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window), Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window). “The seedlings all took root with a vengeance, grew over the bushes and climbed the pines, smothering them with masses of vegetation which bent them to the ground and became an awful, tangled nuisance.”. Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) was brought to the United States in 1876 for a Japanese Exposition in Philadelphia, and basically “escaped”. But with abundant food, the beetle population soars, doubling in size every month. 5 Why is kudzu invasive? “An important book for the entire South,” proclaimed a reviewer in Cope’s rival newspaper, the Atlanta Journal. While a very severe frost will crisp and discolor the leaves and vines, the root system has consistently proved too hardy a match for the cold. However, only time will tell how firmly kudzu has planted itself into the Southern consciousness. Enjoy! It made sense in that environmental context. Southern artisans used it to make jewelry and baskets. Everybody thought they could just knock the leaves out and that would undo the plant,” says Miller. Kudzu was first brought to the U.S. by Japan, which promoted it as an ornamental and as a forage crop at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. He did find one—picloram, or “agent pink” as he calls it—that was “extremely effective” if applied with persistence, and he trained a few folks how to apply it. 8 How to get rid of kudzu? It is almost always harmful to the local habitat, whether directly (such as giving off toxic gases) or simply by outcompeting and choking out the local vegetation. Foresters said kudzu was decimating trees. Within a decade, the amount of kudzu in cultivation went from 10,000 to 500,000 acres. In these cases I have attempted to find the new links and keep them current. In 1905, the couple opened Glen Arden Nursery, a mail-order business, and began touting kudzu as the “coming forage of the South,” with the help of nature-oriented organizations like the Audubon Society. The name comes from the Japanese word for this plant, kuzu.The other species of Pueraria occur in southeast Asia, further south. “Our position is in some respects like that of the physician who discovers that his patient is suffering from a malignant fever, say malaria,” Cope said. Kudzu, or Japanese Arrowroot is a legume that produces hearty vines and a great deal of biomass. 1999) Date of U.S. Introduction: Late 1800s (Everest et al. It is known by different names such as globular stink bug, kudzu beetle, lablab bug, black kudzu bug, Japanese kudzu, and bean plataspid. In the American South its a predator. One day, Charles discovered his pigs and goats, even his chickens, noshing greedily on “the front porch vine,” as many called kudzu in those days. Maculopapular drug eruption due to the Japanese herbal medicine Kakkonto (kudzu or arrowroot decoction). In essence, Alien Kudzu is an alien lifeform that infests a planet's environment and begins reproducing itself rapidly. The sun-loving, rain-loving “wonder plant” was proving too high-maintenance for the majority of Southerners. Kudzu is a dangerous predator. “The farmer could actually farm from his front porch if he were equipped with a television outfit or a high-powered telescope and electric connections to his pasture gates,” Cope wrote. Native To: Asia (Everest et al. It grows up to 7 feet a week. But the program was slow to catch on because of the skepticism of farmers who found the woody, stubborn stems tough to bale and worried about the way the vine slithered back to life even after an unexpected winter frost. The weight of Kudzu smothering plants also can kill them (Kudzu can even pull down trees!). The origin of kudzu is Asia, Japan. Georgi Zhukov, Soviet general who captured Berlin during World War II. Kudzu is a climbing, woody or semi-woody, perennial vine capable of reaching heights of 20 - 30 m (66 - 98 ft) in trees, but also scrambles extensively over lower vegetation. In 1943, Cope inaugurated the Kudzu Club of America. At the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876, the Japanese exhibit was a garden which included the strikingly handsome and sweet-smelling kudzu vine. Peter Carl Goldmark, engineer, developed the first commercial color television and the long-playing phonograph record. To woo wary private landowners, the soil service offered compensation of up to $8 per planted acre—a pretty penny to turn down during the Depression. By 1900, its fragrant grape-scented purple flowers and the vine’s ability seemingly to cover a trellis in a night had made it popular on porches throughout the Southeastern US. Kudzu was introduced to the United States from Japan in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, as an ornamental plant. Even so, the speed with which kudzu scaled new terrain was astounding. One was W. Crawford Young, a former soil service employee whom filmmaker Marjorie Short found when she made the Oscar-nominated documentary Kudzu in 1976. As one government forester said, “Kudzu as far as we see it is of no value other than keeping things green.”, “Far Eastern vines / Run from the clay banks they are / Supposed to keep from eroding,” James Dickey, the Southern poet and author of the novel Deliverance, wrote about the plant. He fights fire with fire. Kudzu maintained its champions. Kudzu originates in East Asia. Almost nothing stops it. 2 Natural habitat of kudzu. Many of kudzu sites were taken down or moved. Introducing Kudzu was like introducing a match to gasoline, and the results can now be easily seen. Railroad operators began reporting that kudzu had covered tracks, causing trains to slip and derail. In 1962, the agency cautioned landowners to plant the vine away from homes, fences, orchards— anything that could be swallowed. You can see the trees smothered by the plant Author: Katie Ashdown CC BY2.0. No one realized that an invasive monster had just gained a foothold on American soil. Juanitta Baldwin, author of Kudzu Cuisine, and William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi, who wrote The Book of Kudzu, found ways to use the leaves and roots in the kitchen. The program put hundreds of unemployed men to work planting the “gully-mender” on public lands along railroad tracks and highways. But it did not become the plant that’s eating America all by itself. The fungal species Myrothecium verrucaria preys on kudzu. Kudzu (クズ or 葛, Kuzu? “The volume and amount that was planted was so large that occasionally it interfered with other crop plants or other land uses. “Finding a nursery which offered seeds for sale, I grew a lot of seedlings and scattered them about rather fecklessly, having in mind the plant’s stubborn refusal to grow for me before,” he wrote of his home experiments, which subsequently spun out of control. In 1970, the agency scientists officially declared kudzu a weed. Miller has experimented with dozens. He tried hand-digging, mowing, burning, grazing livestock—all to no avail. Brittany Spears, singer, songwriter, actress; her … Baby One More Time (1999) became the best-selling album to date (2013) by a teenage solo artist. It was first imported to the United States from Japan in 1876, brought over for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. “It will graze more hogs per acre than any legume plant we have ever grown,” boasted one scientist. It grows more than 7 feet (more than 2 meters) meters a week. By Megan Friedman Tuesday, Feb. 02, 2010. It has completely taken over the southern part of the united states. Melissa Farlow / National Geographic / Getty . Kudzu grows better here than in its native countries of China and Japan. Kudzu is an invasive plant species in the United States.Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences. “Up telephone poles, / Which rear, half out of leafage / As though they would shriek, / Like things smothered by their own / Green, mindless, unkillable ghosts.”. Bolstered by the findings, the Soil Conservation Service launched a kudzu planting campaign across the South in 1935. Kudzu plant spread over the whole valley. 7 Control methods of kudzu. And those farmers whom the government had paid to root the plant? This highly invasive plant is known as the Kudzu plant or “The Vine who ate the south,” originating from Japan. It is school erosion, church erosion, and family erosion. Channing Cope, that feisty cultist, let kudzu flourish on his property long after it was declared a weed and famously banned county officials from coming near his land with clippers. Utility companies said the vine raced up their poles more quickly than their workers could cut it down, causing electrical shorts. In 1920, hoping to kick-start a hay trade that the railroad could haul, the Central Georgia Railroad bought thousands of kudzu plants from the Pleases to give to farmers to plant. Originally published in the June 2011 issue of American History. But the herbicide is highly water-soluble; it leeches into surface water used for irrigation and destroys crops. Cotton’s dead, he said. Farmers who experimented with kudzu in those early years found that once a few seedlings took root the vine would proliferate even on sandy and loamy soil and spread indiscriminately on unproductive land. Kudzu has since been nipping at the North as well, reaching into Pennsylvania and New York and pushing west to Nebraska, Oklahoma, even Oregon, potentially blanketing more than 7 million acres of U.S. territory and wreaking significant economic damage— perhaps more than $50 million annually. Akita H, Sowa J, Makiura M, et al. Farmers were moving their livestock production indoors and trying to reforest available pasture. And the Japanese promoted kudzu—“the wonder vine”—as a plant capable of taking root on land that couldn’t be cultivated for anything else. Meanwhile, some enterprising sorts found alternative uses for the vine. “He does not prescribe warm baths and massage and manicures and hairdos and soft music. Highway officials claimed kudzu could creep across pavement in areas with minimal traffic and cover road signs. The Pleases were new to Florida, having arrived from Indiana with plans to start a timber reserve. Its an amazing plant. That leaves herbicides. It was introduced to the United States in the 1800s. “There is no danger that kudzu will become a pest,” proclaimed one official bulletin. Almost nothing stops it. Stone Phillips, Emmy-winning journalist; co-anchor of Dateline NBC. When Kudzu was first brought to America, the insects (native to China and Japan) that eat and damage Kudzu were not brought too. And it’s up to us to find ways to take the Band-Aids off.”. Kudzu or Kuzu (or, in America, The Vine That Ate The South) has been used and valued in China and Japan for centuries as medicine, as food, and as landscape enhancement. Contact Dermatitis 2003;48:348-9. Ann Patchett, author; her novel Bel Canto received the Orange Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award (2002). All the while, the Department of Agriculture was trying to breed a hardier strain of kudzu that would spread more quickly in cooler climes. Every morning, he’d throw back a cup of coffee spiked with bourbon, then broadcast the Yellow River Farm radio program from his front porch. Government scientists were undeterred, however. That’s the conclusion of scientists affiliated with The Earth Institute at Columbia University, who last year discovered strong signs that the vine is causing ozone formation in low levels of the atmosphere. Perhaps more disturbing, these weeds can collaborate to destroy agriculture. Kudzu jumped to front-runner status. ), Pueraria lobata (syn. In the 1930s, kudzu was praised for its ability to stabilize eroding land and as a food source for cows, Czapar said. But he refused to give up. No one realized that an invasive monster had just gained a foothold on American soil. It was introduced to the U.S for an ornamental and for erosion control in 1999. Its even been called “The vegetable form of cancer”. The parcel had been vacant for seven years prior, and a county agriculture agent predicted Cope would “perish to death” before making a buck off it. In Japan, as many as 50 people per year die from hornet attacks. Kudzu - or kuzu (クズ) - is native to Japan and southeast China. And it was at least as appetizing to livestock as other nutrient-rich feeds, like alfalfa, that had to be trucked to the South. A bit further north, in Washington, D.C., a U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist named David Fairchild had less success when he tried cultivating kudzu from a batch of seeds imported from Japan. “Kudzu is king.”.