Kudzu came to America at the 1876 World's Fair, according to "The Amazing Story of Kudzu." Japanese and Chinese exibitors showcased the plant as a beautiful plant with sweet-smelling blossoms.
In 1976, 100 years later, the USDA declared kudzu a noxious weed.
Part of the problem is that the climate in many parts of America is ideal for the plant. It grows faster in the mid-Atlantic and southern states of America than it does in its native countries. Under the right conditions, kudzu can spread like, well, kudzu. It can grow up to a foot a day in summer and up to 60 feet in a year, climbing on anything, trees, concrete walls, power poles.
Some southerners call it "the plant that ate the south."
Some locals in Edgewater Beach worked this weekend to rid their neighborhood of this fast-growing specimen. Joan Scott emailed Edgewater Patch with photos of their effort (thanks Joan!).
Here is how Scott described it:
We live on top of a steep hill overlooking the South River. The
kudzu, bad for many years, outdid itself this year. It climbed the
hill, went around the yards of houses and crossed yards on the street
We applied for, and received grant monies from the South River
Federation and the Forestry Board. Each of the houses on the hill
donated money and the community association gave money.
We hired someone to spray the kudzu, because spraying the leaves in the fall is considered to give up the best chance of eliminating the
lovely vine. On Sunday, we began the process of removing the kudzu.