Kudzu?

Discussion in 'Plant and Tree Identification' started by Bitsy-Bet, May 2, 2006.

  1. Bitsy-Bet

    Bitsy-Bet Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know if Kudzu would grow in the far north? Would it freeze out in the winter? My husband wants to try growing it after seeing it down south. Anyone have any cuttings they would share? I know some consider it awful but he really would like some.
     
  2. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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  3. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    IS there a use for Kudzu other than getting out of control and creating a forrest striaght out of Stephen King's imagination? I've always wondered if it had some uses.
     
  4. Wildcrofthollow

    Wildcrofthollow Well-Known Member

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    Kudzu is both edible and medicinal, it is great for basketry and cordage as well. The PROBLEM with it is that it doesn't have any natural checks and balances here in the south. there was a thread on here about 6 months ago by someone else who wanted to plant some, I suggest you do a search and revive it. it had some great info in it.

    I, an ENVIRONAZI (caboviejo), would strongly suggest that you do not use kudzu for any reason. The damage done to habitat here in the south is apalling. On the other hand if you are way up north it may not be able to overwinter. I don't know, and because I don't know I would be very slow to consider using it. We, of the ENVIRONAZI REICH have very good reasons for being afraid of losing our native flora due to loss of habitat. To plant kudzu just so you can say that you have some is a lot like keeping a pet rattlesnake, they are not very cuddly and you really can't play with them and god help you if they get out.
     
  5. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Kudzu is a beautiful plant, with fragrant purple flowers. Down here in the South, we use it to make jelly, baskets, even furniture. It makes great rope, too, We feed it to our livestock.

    We also chop it, poison it, burn it.

    And we can't keep up with it.

    As another environazi (I kinda like that term, by the way, thanks!) I strongly suggest not planting it. I've seen baskets made with kudzu, from dried out vines, that have been set outside, take root and grow (yep, and I made the basket, and I set it outside, so I'm the dummy, but I'm also the eye-witness!). Same thing with twig furniture for yards. It'll sprout and grow like fresh willow furniture will.

    I have a T-shirt about kudzu that someone gave me years ago. It has a description of the plant, and includes planting directions:

    Throw it and RUN!

    Meg
     
  6. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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  7. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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  8. Wildcrofthollow

    Wildcrofthollow Well-Known Member

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    Caballoviejo, (sorry I misspelled earlier)

    You are correct that kudzu doesn't tolerate shade well. It will grow in shade long enough to overtake the shading tree tho. Then it's problems are solved as it has plenty of light to continue to grow, but alas, the tree it climbed is in dire trouble. It does not disperse well, but you see, seed dispersal is really not kudzu's modus operandi, Vegetative reproduction and layering is. I don't know where you are located, but here in VA, kudzu is not really that big a deal. We apparently are not warm enough for it to be truly devastating. Go to GA. I have seen miles of forest from the interstate taken over by it. One could argue that the forest was already disrupted by the interstate itself, and I would have no good rebuttal. You are again correct that japanese honeysuckle (our greatest scourge at the botanical sanctuary), and privet are bad news. The list of envasive aliens is quite long.
    Ok, Ecology is a science, and environmentalism is a feeling. From the top of the hill where our land ends you can see for quite literally miles and miles on a clear day. As you look out, you will see that most of the land below you is clothed in conifers. Loblolly pine to be exact. the continents of loblolly are surrounded by thin little lines of native hardwood forests. The loblollys, you see, are tree farms. As you drive down the road you see native hardwood forest. but if you get out of your car and walk back into the woods just a little way you will most likely find yourself in another tree farm. Ecologically, thousands of acres of planted tree farms are far more damaging than the piddling 3-5 acres taken over by kudzu. But we need the tree farms for paper, just as we needed the kudzu for erosion control, just as we needed the privet hedge around the cabin to make it separate from the wilds the pioneer folks who planted them lived in.
    I would suggest that most of the folks who study only the science of ecology are a bit myopic, and thus have trouble seeing the forest because of all the (loblolly) trees in the way. I thought that most of the folks who were die hard environmentalists were (let's face it) a bit too reactionary. But I have begun to realize that perhaps some of those folks were just a bit more visionary than I was, and now that I can see what they were talking about back in the '70's I am truly afraid for a lot of our native flora.
    So, I have become a tree hugging environmentalist. I suspect that you are one as well, and I do not intend for this (now thesis) to be a rant. It is rather, an outpouring of my environmental feeling.

    Cheers,
     
  9. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    I being from GA would not send anyone Kudzu.It is lovely in bloom and has a wonderful odor but.....It quickly takes over everything and is impossible to control and impossible to get rid of.It has found a home to its liking here in Ga. Have some at the bottom of my drive.I am waiting to come home one day and not be able to find my house..
     
  10. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    If you had ever been in the South and seen the damage Kudzu does you wouldn't be asking the question. :cowboy:
     
  11. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i don't think i would be as gracious to kudzu as some here are. i am a yankee from the mason dixon line and have no kudzu but i think it should be eliminated. i know that will most likely never happen.

    i am strangled by honeysuckle. i do not know if the honeysuckle is japanese or if it is native or what. i do know it is terribly invassive and has taken over 1/3 of my garden when i was not using that portion. my native raspberry patch was taken over and so were some young spruce trees along the creek. it is a terrible looking mess. i do not like to use chemicals so most of it is not being sprayed. i do have an elderly neighbor and i decided to spray the fence row by her house as it is as mess too. i am glad it is not kudzu or i would not have a chance.

    i just learned about garlic mustard this year. man that stuff is everywhere. i am close enough to west virginia to see some of those endangered butterflies if i can restore some habitat, lol.
     
  12. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    there was a pbs show about kudzu on not long ago. having lived here in kudzu country for all of my life i would say stay as far away from it as you can and also you may get in trouble as in some states it is illegal to knowingly plant kudzu.

    I watched kudzu completely cover a stand of mature pines. im talking about twenty acres from the ground to the very tops of the trees in less than eight years.

    it has happened more than once that people trying to eliminate it have gone in with a bulldozer and found actual houses and cars hidden beneath it.

    one eradication spot here found a root that was over twenty inchs in diameter and thirty ft long.

    it will grow a ft a day easily. anyone considering kudzu needs to watch this
    http://www.alabamatv.org/kudzu/

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  13. vicker

    vicker Well-Known Member

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    If the lady wants kudzu, send her some kudzu for crying out loud. Maybe she would like a couple fire ants too :D
    Seriously though, kudzu isn't a problem in the north and has any benificial uses.
    Have you ever seen what wisteria does in the south when it gets out? :hobbyhors
     
  14. Country Lady

    Country Lady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the south, Kudzu is an enemy.
     
  15. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    I am a very gentle person, but I support the death penalty for anybody who willingly chooses to plant kudzu!


    Preferred method of execution: strangulation by growing kudzu vines.


    At the rate kudzu grows, it would be a quick death!


    :)
     
  16. Bitsy-Bet

    Bitsy-Bet Well-Known Member

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    We hear of the good things about Kudzu but for heaven's sake, folks, we have no intentions of bringing in a plant that would endanger our area. It likely would die out here anyway in our winters! I like just knowing if it would survive in an area where winter is our main season! We have 4 months of growing season and the rest of the year is pretty brown!
     
  17. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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  18. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    i am a recent transplant to the south, and haveing seen a full year in the life of kudzu i am glad that the cold barior has stopped its advance northward, i would hate to see my native lands of the Kansas Prairie over taken by the stuff, (although we have our own invasive plant problems)
    the only thing that really could control it in places is a hungry goat herd, but just on the other side of the fence the ever pressent creature persists,
    i am always amazed at how "man" gets a bright idea and decides to introduce something and then it gets out of hand and all they can say is "OOPS"
    Kudzu
    Fire Ants
    Love Bugs
    Privit
    just to name a few of the introduced spiecies that i have found down here
     
  19. Dahc

    Dahc Don't Tase me, bro!?!

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    Telapia
    Brazilian pepper
    malaluca
    Kudzu
    Japanese Honeysuckle
    Kudzu
    Kudzu
    Kudzu....
     
  20. alabamared

    alabamared Well-Known Member

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    mexicans
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    people that don't know what there talking about