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  • Writer's pictureKendra DeKay

The Mile-a-Minute Plant: Kudzu


What's that green stuff?!


Newcomers and visitors to the southeastern united states may not be familiar with Kudzu, the invasive tough green vine from Japan that grows like, well… a weed! Kudzu grows FAST and is almost impossible to kill. It can swallow entire cars, buildings, and choke the life out of plants and even trees over time.


Driving along the highway just about anywhere in the Southeast, you'll see kudzu blanketing whole sections of forest. It reminds me of a childrens' book by Dr. Seuss called Bartholomew and the Oobleck, in which a magic green goo gets out of control and covers an entire city!

But even longtime residents and locals of Aiken may not know the fascinating history of kudzu and how it was “sold” to the United States as a miracle plant that Southern farmers were actually PAID to plant!


... that you can make a jelly from the delicate purple flowers that tastes (according to some!) like grape Jolly Rancher candy!

... OR why a much more recent (2009) import – Kudzu BUGS – may be the new scourge of the South!

Check out this fascinating article from The Aiken Chronicles and learn what you may not know about Kudzu: https://aikenchronicles.com/2023/05/27/kudzu-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving/


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