Learn more about invasive species An invasive plant as fast-growing as kudzu outcompetes everything from native grasses to fully mature trees by shading them from the sunlight they need to photosynthesize. Over time, these effects of habitat loss can lead to species extinctions and a loss of overall biodiversity.
Why is kudzu considered invasive?
Its vigorous growth and large leaves smother and shade out native plants. It can kill trees through girdling and the extra weight of vines can lead to toppling during storms. Once established, kudzu plants grow rapidly, extending as much as 60 feet per season, about 1 foot per day.
How did the kudzu vine become invasive?
Kudzu was intentionally introduced to North America by the Soil Erosion Service and Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s for the purpose of controlling soil erosion in the American Southeast. When kudzu was first introduced in the southeast, it was initially used as an ornamental vine to shade homes.
Can you eat kudzu raw?
The leaves, vine tips, flowers, and roots are edible; the vines are not. The leaves can be used like spinach and eaten raw, chopped up and baked in quiches, cooked like collards, or deep fried. Young kudzu shoots are tender and taste similar to snow peas.