Also called Pueraria lobata, "the plant that ate the South", "the vine that ate the South" and "the scourge of the South".  The common name "kudzu" may refer to this species, sister-species Pueraria edulis and Pueraria phaseoloides, and hybrids between them.

All these are part of genus Pueraria in 🥜︎ legume / bean / pea  family Fabaceae in order Fabales.

Native to 🇨🇳 China, 🇯🇵 Japan and 🇰🇵 🇰🇷 Korea.   🗺 Map by county (🇺🇸 USA-48) (color key).   Invasive > learn+quiz Invasive > 🌐︎ global Invasive > 🇨🇦 Canada, 🇺🇸 USA Invasive > report it! Invasive > 🇺🇸 USA Invasive > 🇺🇸 USA (variety lobata) Invasive > Michigan

Uses by native peoples
(Ethnobotany database)
  On No-Plant List by Seneca Nation of Indians.  Adobe Acrobat Reader file (page 64)

Like most legumes, this plant cooperates with a bacterium that fixes atmospheric nitrogen into a form usable by plants and animals.

That allows these plants to:

  • outcompete non-nitrogen-fixing plants in poorer soils, or
  • have seeds and foliage with more protein.

This makes their seeds and foliage more nutritious to plant-eaters.  And growing these plants may improve the quality of worn-out farmland and disturbed soils.

Learn more about kudzu Pueraria montana

Fact sheet (Ontario)  Adobe Acrobat Reader file Fact sheet (Ontario) 🇫🇷 en français  Adobe Acrobat Reader file Control and Alternatives (Maryland)  Adobe Acrobat Reader file (pages 5 and 6)
Biological Control in Eastern USA  Adobe Acrobat Reader file (page 333)

🔍︎ 🔍︎ images Discover Life Encyclopedia of Life Michigan Flora NRCS PLANTS db USFS Wikipedia