Pueraria montana var. lobata

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2651015
Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Genus: Pueraria
Species: P. montana
Subspecies: P. montana var. lobata
Scientific Name
Pueraria montana var. lobata
(Willd.) Maesen & S. Almeida
Scientific Name Synonym
Pueraria lobata
(Lour.) Merr.
Pueraria thunbergiana
(Siebold & Zucc.) Benth.
Common Names

kudzu

Overview

Appearance
Pueraria montana var. lobata is a climbing, deciduous vine capable of reaching lengths of over 100 ft. (30.5 m) in a single season. Its fleshy tap roots can reach 7 in. (18 cm) in width and grow to 9 ft. (3.8 m) deep. These roots can weigh up to 400 lbs. (180 kg).
Foliage
Leaves are alternate, compound (with three, usually lobed, leaflets), hairy underneath and up to 5.4 in. (15 cm) long.
Flowers
Flowering occurs in midsummer, when 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long, purple, fragrant flowers hang, in clusters, in the axils of the leaves.
Fruit
Fruit are brown, hairy, flat, 3 in. (7.6 cm) long, 0.3 in. (0.8 cm) wide seed pods. Each pod can contain 3-10 hard seeds.
Ecological Threat
Preferred habitat includes open, disturbed areas such as roadsides, right-of-ways, forest edges, and old fields. Pueraria montana var. lobata often grows over, shades out and kills all other vegetation, including trees. It is native to Asia and was first introduced into the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. It was widely planted throughout the eastern United States in an attempt to control erosion.

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