Perhaps. Anecdotally, my parents have observed it consume a number of small wilderness areas near them, completely destroying the local micro-biomes.
Sure kudzu doesn’t live up to some hype about it consuming the South, but it’s still a shit plant that will take over an area if left unchecked. There are plenty of places once you leave the urban landscape in NC that have acres of kudzu. The issue with kudzu isn’t just how quickly it does grow but the fact that it’ll end up consuming and covering everything in an area. Now just imagine having to clear out 5 acres of kudzu with +60ft trees covered in it…frankly it’d be easier to burn it all.
It’s like English Ivy on steroids. (Only plus side is it a lot easier to kill with herbicides than ivy.) The only invasive plant I found to like is liriope/mondo grass.
Nothing about invasive species is “not that bad.” They’re a disaster, Kudzu included.
When native plants are displaced by invasives, it send ripples of disruption all the way up the food chain.
EDIT: Having read the article all the way through, they’re trying to say that Kudzu isn’t apocalyptic as far as invasive species go, but that invasive species are bad and Kudzu is a good example because its damage is highly visible and dramatic:
that, perhaps, is the real danger of kudzu. Our obsession with the vine hides the South. It veils more serious threats to the countryside, like suburban sprawl, or more destructive invasive plants such as the dense and aggressive cogon grass and the shrubby privet. More important, it obscures the beauty of the South’s original landscape, reducing its rich diversity to a simplistic metaphor.
My backyard bane is morning glory vines. If they were perennial we’d all be done for. It’s hard to weed it out, the seeds from last year germinate ALL SUMMER!
If I told you an invasive species has impacted more than 227,000 acres in the Southern United States, would you feel it was no big deal?
I was imagining the miles and miles and miles of overgrown trees I saw down South? Oh, okay. That’s reassuring.
I’ve noticed in areas where the kudzu has died off that nothing else comes back to replace it. Eventually it’ll break down, but in the meantime it’s disturbing to see how even dead kudzu leaves an area unable to produce anything else.
Kudzu pulls a lot of nutrients out of the ground, and replaces few. This is a pretty common thread with “great, fast growing” plants.
Several years ago I saw a beautiful and weird 20-minute documentary about kudzu called Kudzu Vine, reminiscent of both David Lynch and Walker Evans. All I can find online now is this five-minute shortened version, which definitely gets the flavor of it across: https://vimeo.com/25469209
Good share. That’s like War of the Worlds, if the Martians were a vine with a fan club.
Isn’t Kudzu edible and delicious?
Can we not just eat the stuff?
That brings to mind some interesting parallels with economic strategies, political parties, and other diverse topics…
Blech. It was supposed to be good grazing stock, but most animals will eat anything else first, even the invasive beetles the article suggests are helping to control it. The article mentions “grape” smell, but actually it smells like that really fake grape Kool-aid.
It is edible and it might be delicious. Just remember that the number one method humans use to control kudzu is herbicide. I hope you’re RoundUp-Ready™ if you plan to chow down on freshly harvested interstate kudzu.
like that’s a bad thing?
Found some grape-flavored pop-tarts the other day. Oh my, so damn good…I also pulled some English Ivy out of the ground but there is no way in hell I’d eat that stuff. However, a little icing, some pastry dough, and a touch of grape-flavored filling would probably do wonders for the taste…
Where’s that vomit emoji?
Now that scientists at last are attaching real numbers to the threat of kudzu, it’s becoming clear that most of what people think about kudzu is wrong. Its growth is not “sinister…”
I do not see any real numbers there. How many decibels of not-sinister? Eh?
I think those so-called scientists are just a bunch of lousy kudzu-lovers.