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Kudzu - Pueraria montana
Family: Fabaceae

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Taxonomy:

coarse-growing perennial with trifoliate leaves that have coarsely lobed leafets. It produces large, wisteria-like, purple flowers on long racemes, and beans in flat, papery pods covered with a tawny down. Kudzu plants produce long lateral runners that generate roots at intervals. Being a member of the bean family (Fabaceae), bacteria in the roots fixes atmospheric nitrogen, thus increasing soil fertility wherever it grows

History:

Kudzu was introduced into the United States at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876.

Great Depression of the 1930's when the US Government paid farmers $8.00 an acre to plant the stuff on fallow fields and bare banks as a means of controlling erosion

USES:

In its native lands, the roots are used to make a medicinal tea for treating dysentery and fever. In Japan, a kind of kudzu tofu is highly prized. The stems yield a fiber called ko-kemp that is useful in making cloth and paper. And, last but not least, the plant contains a chemical compound, daidzin, that has proven to be effective in suppressing the craving for alcohol.


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Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

 

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