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#404: Kudzu : What it is from Mihoko

From: mihoko tsunetomi <miho0087@yominet.ne.jp>

>What is Kudzu?


Kudzu is a vine native to Japan which was introduced to the southeastern
United States in 1876. It was first used as an ornamental shade plant and
later as an erosion control ground cover. Due to its' rapid growth, it can
quickly overrun anything in its' path. In 1948 it was estimated that kudzu
was growing on 500,000 acres in the Southeast. By 1948 the acreage in
Georgia alone was 480,000. Under ideal conditions, kudzu can grow 1 foot per
day and up to 100 feet in a single growing season.<


     Above was found fromYahoo.  In addition, some of the
facts from my Japanese encyclopedia are:

     Kudzu is found on any fields or roadsides all over Japan.
It also grows in China, Taiwan, Korea.  Strongly reproductive.
The name "kudzu"is taken from the name of the place Kudzu in Nara
Prefecture as the place was famous for producing powdered kudze.
Powdered kudzu is taken from the kudzu roots, used for food or
medecine.  (we use it like a starch to thicken the soup, etc.)
Introduced into US in 1876, it has become an important item for
hay or cattle-feeding, or for preventing soil erosion.  For haymaking,
it is difficult to harvest as  it is a vine plant, but it is used as pasture
as it contains high protein and vitamin A..  The vines entwine and
are helpful for preventing erosion, but sometimes they grow around
the forests, drainage and other areas so much that farmers regard
them as weeds.  Pueraria lobata

     Please be very careful when you try to introduce a foreign thing.