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Pueraria montana var. lobata

Previously known as:

  • Pueraria lobata
Phonetic Spelling
pew-er-RAY-ree-uh mon-TAY-nuh low-BAY-tuh
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Kudzu is a deciduous woody vine that occurs along riparian areas, right-of-ways, fields, and roadsides.  It is in the pea family (Fabaceae) hailing from the Pacific islands, eastern and Southeast Asia. In the southeast, this is considered an invasive vine or noxious weed as it aggressively colonizes by growing along the ground and up and over tree and shrub canopies killing plants by shading them out.   These vines climb, coil, and trail reproducing vegetatively through stolons and rhizomes by rooting at almost every node that makes contact with the soil.  They were originally brought to the United States from Asia in the 1800's to prevent soil erosion.  It prefers moist, well-drained loamy soils in the full sun.  The plant is edible and is forage for livestock but has no value to wildlife.  Because it is a member of the pea family it fixes nitrogen so it is competitive in nitrogen deficient sites.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Mature stands of the vine are particularly difficult to manage.  This plant is not recommended for any landscape purpose in the south.  

More information on Pueraria montana.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
'Variegata'
Tags:
#invasive#weed#edible weed#weedy#high maintenance#aggressive#vigorous vine
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
'Variegata'
Tags:
#invasive#weed#edible weed#weedy#high maintenance#aggressive#vigorous vine
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pueraria
    Species:
    montana
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The long flexible stems are used in basket making. Powder from the root is used in making Arrowroot tea which is popular medicine in China, Japan, and Korea. It is being studied for its medicinal properties.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China to Australia
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Flattened pods 1 1/2"-3" long mature September to January and are only produced on climbing vines.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Lipped
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Pea-like pink or purplish flowers .8"-1" long appear in axillary racemes that reach 4"-8" long June to September.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Pinately compound three leaflets, alternate grayish green or yellow 2"-8" long
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The long flexible stems are used in basket making.
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy