Invasive Plants-What is Kudzu? Edible Weeds
Kudzu Invasion is it an edible weed
Invasive Plants-What is Kudzu? Edible Weed? Kudzu plants are edible weeds and is often used as a health supplement. Growing at the rate of one foot per day Kudzu has managed to cover over 7 million acres of the southeastern portion of the United States, mostly affecting the deep south. Kudzu was introduced to the U.S. in Philadelphia. during an exhibition in the late 1870's and soon became a standard for gardens and floral shops. During the 1930's during the depression hundreds of acres were planted I an effort to control soil erosion.
By looking at the photo it is easy to see the beauty of the flower produced by the Kudzu vine. A lovey exotic pinkish blossom with a gentle tower center. It is easy to understand why the Kudzu became so popular. Little did anyone know the consequences that would following it's propagation. Although it did resolve the erosion problem it create a number of other concern that still puzzle many. With the rapid growth of the plant in a few short weeks it can overtake the property where it was planted. Around the deep south stories are told of going away on vacation for a couple of week and upon return having to machete a path into the house.
The problem lies with what to do with it after cutting it down it is an edible weed, but most choose not to eat it;. The plant itself does not replant itself from it's roots, but from the joints where root sprout quite readily increasing the number of plants by allowing it to make contact with the ground. Once cut it continues to propagate and spread. Unlike the Chinese and Japanese, the Kudzu is not often used for a health supplement and there are commercial uses for this edible weed.
For example this weed can be used a thickener for food, a sweetener and many other uses. Dietary supplement have also come to market recently and are readily available online or in stores. Check them out the next time you go shopping. Making this truly amazing plant useful gives hope to those who endure it growth each season.
Buy Kudzu for Your Health - The benefits are amazing
Used in China to curb symptoms of menopause and the desire to consume alcohol.
Imagine your Home Being Overtaken By KUDZU!
Kudzu is No Laughing Matter - Your Home can be overtaken in just a few short weeks.
Watch it grow
Kudzu has amazing health benefits and has been consumed by the Chinese and Japanese for centuries, Since it's introduction to the U.S. landscape it has become a problem of proportions beyond the imagination. I have personally witnessed it over take homes and property in my deep southern location. I drive by areas affected with the invasion on a regular basis and can tell you that in the early spring it appears to be a lovely vine, often covered with beautiful flowers. Then by the end of the summer it will impair the vision at intersections making it impossible to see passing vehicles.
The southern regions of the country are moist and provide a prolific terrain for Kudzu to thrive. The photo above is from dailycognition.com and demonstrates the invasive properties of a plant that grows at the rate of 1 foot/day. I would hate to come home one day and find that Kudzu has taken over my home and property. There are many folks in my area that deal with this problem the entire summer.
Here is looks like a nice ground cover.
In a FEW short weeks
When Kudzu blooms in the spring it looks like a beautiful flower. I generally see it on the side of the road or along the highway, it makes driving very scenic. Later you will notice that the flowers are gone and the blooms have dried up and dropped off. This is the time of the year when Kudzu really begins it's yearly invasion. I am always amazed at how quickly the process occurs. The once flower road side become a jungle almost over night.
The mystical look make you wonder what it has covered. You can see the shapes of the object, such a electrical wire, telephone line, trees, and old organic debris. The problem lies with the intensity of the growth it smoothers and chokes out any other plant in it's path.
The up side is that Kudzu has been used for centuries in China and Japan as a health supplement. It is also a type of arrowroot that is used to thicken pudding, gravies, and other food requiring thickening. It is very similar to cornstarch and gives food a thickened transparent look. Many people in the south use their resourceful skills and but Kudzu to use as a material for weaving baskets and creative decorative wreaths. I have not tried this, but I'm sure if it ever invades my property I would certainly attempt some large-scale project to make use of it.
After the flower you will see the dried blooms of a more mature plant
Finally you will see total invasion, the roadsides are covered in Kudzu
An Easter Basket made by one of my friends
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Take a minute and let me know what you think about Kudzu