Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi - Kudzu

Pueraria lobata plant

Family - Fabaceae

Stems - Vining, trailing or climbing, somewhat woody, villous to hirsute.

Pueraria lobata stemTwining stem.

Leaves - Alternate, trifoliolate, long-petiolate. Leaflets ovate, orbicular, or rhombic, entire or lobed, pubescent below, glabrous above, to 15cm long. Petiolule of middle leaflet much longer than those of lateral leaflets, all are pubescent (villous).

Pueraria lobata leaf

Inflorescence - Indeterminate, axillary raceme to +20cm long.

Flowers - Papilionaceous. Corolla blue-purple on outer surface, reddish-purple on interior. Standard with yellow splotch at base. Fruits compressed, oblong to linear-oblong, to +7cm long, +1cm broad, villous, the hairs reddish.

Pueraria lobata flowers

Pueraria lobata calyx

Pueraria lobata fruitsFruits.

Flowering - August - October.

Habitat - Borders of wooded areas.

Origin - Native to Asia.

Other info. - Kudzu is one of the most famous weed pests in the south. The vines can cover entire wooded areas killing or stunting all the vegetation below with shade.
The species was originally brought to the U.S. as ground cover and fodder and now much research time is being devoted to its eradication.

Photographs taken next to Missouri Department of Conservation Building in Cassville, MO. 9-10-99, and in Reidsville, NC., 9-24-02.