Kudzu Research Paper

859 Words4 Pages
Ryan Malakie
Principals of Environmental Science
Pueraria Montana
Pueraria Montana or kudzu is a vine originating from the pea family, which can grow at a blister pace of one foot per day. Kudzu has compound leaves with 3 leaflets each measuring about 10 centimeters wide and 10 centimeters long. The woody vine of the plant grows to be about 2 centimeters in diameter, producing small purple flowers that smell like grapes. Kudzu is considered to be an invasive species in the United States due to its fierce growth that blankets the landscape, out-competing any native species.
The Kudzu plant is native to the island nation of Japan, offering the same mixed deciduous forest biome as the majority of the Eastern United Sates. Kudzu was first introduced to the United Sates via the Centennial Exposition. The Centennial Exposition was a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence. At this celebration was a hall of horticulture where one of the exhibits Kudzu; was presented. At the time Kudzu’s wide leafs and sweet smelling flowers enticed American planters. After its introduction at the Centennial Exposition kudu was planted solely as an ornamental; it was not until the wide spread soil devastation of the dust bowl that it was recognized for its effectiveness of controlling erosion. Kudzu was widely planted in the 1930s and 40s to reduce erosion damage to soils, during that time over 1 million acres of kudzu had been planted. After only a few decades kudzu was declared a pest weed in 1953, and was taken off the archive of acceptable species.
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Range of Kudzu in the U.S. (invasivore.org) Range of Mixed Deciduous Biome

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