“Southerners must close their windows at night to keep the kudzu out…”
Quote from The Amazing Story of Kudzu
(Above) Kudzu covering half a road, note the yellow line
(Above) A vast sea of kudzu
Did you know that Kudzu was once planted as a decorative ornamental? It was introduced to the US in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, and promoted for use as a decorative plant in gardens, and as a way to control erosion on slopes. Kudzu blooms mostly in July and August, and has very long clusters of dark purple, very sweet smelling flowers. When in bloom, the grape-like smell is very strong and pleasant.
The south has near perfect conditions for kudzu– hot summers, mild winters with few hard freezes, high humidity and normally high amounts of rainfall, and no natural predators. In fact, it grows much better here in the south than it does in it’s native land of Japan. As a result, this vine now covers more than 7 million acres in the southern US, and has destroyed much forest and farm land, both public and private. Here, it grows at the unbelievable rate of a foot (a FOOT!) a day during spring and summer, up to 60 ft per season, completely covering trees and roadsides, power poles, fences, yards, houses, absolutely everything in it’s path. It can spread for many miles, it’s roots go as deep as twelve feet in the ground, and it can take up to 10 years of specific herbicide use to get rid of it.
©seasonal kudzu photo by Jack Anthony, used with permission, Kudzu-The Vine
Green, mindless, unkillable ghosts.
In Georgia, the legend says
That you must close your windows
At night to keep it out of the house.
The glass is tinged with green, even so…
From the poem “Kudzu”, by James Dickey
Kudzu covering a tree, half the road, and both sides of the main highway
People have been known to leave home on vacation down here only to return a week later to find cars and other LARGE objects buried under its lush greenery.
From Gardening Tips From Down South – How to Grow Kudzu
This plant is an evil, invasive, strangling weed. My photos were taken less than a mile from where I live. Thank goodness there are creeks, a lake, and a road between us and it… even so, I still look twice anytime I see a broad-leaved green vine twining anywhere near here.
Kudzu close-up of the leaves, the vining tendrils, and growing on the hot pavement
Click thumbnails above for larger versions of the photos.
See a more recent post (September 27, 2010) here, with many more photos of this vine and how it covers everything in it’s path, including a photo of kudzu flowers: