Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Kudzu + - Pueraria montana   (Lour.) Merr.
Members of Pueraria with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Fabales » Family Fabaceae
Author(Lour.) Merr.
DistributionThroughout the state, apparently scarce in the outer Coastal Plain.

Native of eastern Asia; in N.A. MA to IL and NE, south to FL and TX; also OR, WA.
AbundanceFrequent to abundant. Scarce in the outer Coastal Plain and in the higher mountains. Local populations can sometimes cover acres of ground and completely cover tall trees -- one of our most noxious weeds.
HabitatFields, roadsides, disturbed woods and forests, clearings, waste ground, railroads, campuses. Seldom becomes a pest in natural ecosystems, since most plants do not produce viable seeds. However, as it does smother vegetation along wooded borders and clearings, it can heavily impact native graminoids, composites, and other native species growing in sunny places and forest margins.
PhenologyFlowering July-September. Deliciously fragrant!
IdentificationKudzu is a very high-climbing "herbaceous" vine or alternatively a wide-spreading ground-hugger; vines reach many dozens of feet long. It easily smothers lesser vegetation and even tall trees. Leaves are divided into 3 very broad leaflets, each of which may or may not be 2-3 lobed. The flowers grow in dense racemes, rosy to purple with a yellow blotch on the standard. Many people probably never want to see this species for the rest of their lives!
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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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