Monday, April 19, 2010

Under The Kudzu

Kudzu is a vine that was introduced to the United States in 1876 as an ornamental plant. Later on during the Great Depression it was used to control land erosion. This vine that started out to be so beautiful as a decoration to your property and also kept the land together now is something that seems you cannot get rid of.

What a beautiful vine with wide green leaves and purple flower pods growing so fast that it can stop land erosion. It grows so fast it now covers about 7 million acres of the south. I have actually watched this vine climb a power pole, and grow along the lines across the street only to go back down the next pole and overtake more land. This vine can and will grow nearly 2 feet per day, So it doesn't take long for it to overtake a power pole and cross the street, Only to continue growing over cars, houses, trees, or any other object that hasn't been moved in a while.

I remember as a child helping Granny cut back the kudzu that was creeping into her garden, it was growing on the embankment behind her house that went up to main street and had grown down and was coming into her yard, she would cut this vine back a few feet to the bottom of the embankment only to be forced to repeat the process almost everyday. She also had a basket that held a flower pot she had gotten from a friend, this basket was made from Kudzu vine and she was proud of it until the basket started sprouting, not sure where it went but from then on the flower pot was without a basket.

When I was a teen my cousin and I went out picking blackberries and muscadines one day, a muscadine is like a wild grape that grows in the South some call them scuppernongs but this can be another post I suppose, anyway we got into a deep patch of blackberries and at the back came into a patch of kudzu, next thing we were completely covered and walking underneath the kudzu, it was unreal completely covered and in another world so to say we walked for quite a way and came upon what looked like a driveway we followed and I kid you not there was a house with what looked like a Model T Ford pickup sitting in front, this is when we made a u-turn and headed back for my car, looking back I wish we had taken a closer look but then we were too afraid of what we may have found now I wonder exactly the same thing.

Later on after I had moved away during a visit back home I passed a house down the road from my sisters, this house had a circle drive and a well sculptured yard there was a wreath on the door which is the sign of a death in the family to which my Sister confirmed, a year later I came home at the same time of year and driving down the road wondered about this family, I looked for the house that was so nice and well taken care of and didn’t see it, I mentioned missing the house and asked about it, my sister told me that the Lady had been moved away to live with her children since the death of her husband a year earlier and the house had been left vacant, I drove back down the road to look for the house and missed it again I turned around and driving slower I found the entrance of each end of the circle drive which leads to the home which is now completely covered by kudzu, sitting back you can now see the outline of the roof which is now the only indicator of the house and if you didn’t know where it was you would never see it.

Kudzu is a vine that is so beautiful a visitor to the south views the vast areas covered by it in awe, while a true southerner closes the windows at night to keep it from creeping in, whether or not you love or hate this vine one thing for sure is,

It'll grow on ya!!!


  1. I've have heard that stuff is a real pain in the butt chore. I've seen it, but thankfully, never had to deal with it.

  2. As you can see I grew up around it, I think its a good looking vine and the areas it covers is amazing but when you can't control it is when it becomes a problem.

    Wonder how it would grow in California :^)


    LOVED that last line..."It'll grow on ya!"

    I'm not sure if I know this "Kudzu vine" you're referring to, but I do know all about how amazingly fast vines grow in general. Here in Philly, many of the old brick historical homes have vines COVERING them. It's funny to look at the houses, because the only area where the vines are not gowing, are over the windows.

    Vines always remind me of that movie, Little Shop of Horrors - HA!

    Hope you had a great day, my friend!

  4. P.S. Love how you changed your template with the image behind your posts. Very cool.

  5. Hey Ron,

    Kudzu you would remember my Friend because you dare not take a nap in the yard for too long Ha Ha

    I always liked the look of the vines growing on the side of houses but kudzu don't stop at the top.

    Thank You Sir I have been playing with the code again trying to get it right.

  6. I do of this vine but was never sure what it was called. See you teach me new things every day Jimmy. I love purple and anything that flowers so I do feel like a fan of this plant. However, I can appreciate the "little shop of horrors" activity this vine takes on. But it is hard not to love a growing and beautiful plant..even if it is trying to take over the world.

  7. P.S. You are putting me to shame with your advanced computer skills....I love the background picture of Cindy!!

  8. Hey Susie,

    The flower on this vine is beautiful but only in spring if I remember correctly, the rest of the year is just the lush green leaves.

    Thank You I am starting to think I had better stop playing with the codes, I kind of like where I am at with it, I am proud you think it looks good.

  9. We go south on vacation every year and the kudzu is everywhere! My hubs told the story of how it was brought over and introduced with good intent but has now become a nuisance. We have that problem with Russian Olive up here.

    What's that saying? The road to hell is paved with good intentions? Maybe it's also covered in kudzu!!

    I loved the story about finding the house and old car. If I borrow it for a horror story (if you don't mind, that is), I'll dedicate it to you!


  10. Hey Spot,

    Yes that road is probably covered with Kudzu since as you said good intentions were the reason for bringing it over.

    I was afraid when we were under the kudzu finding that old house and truck that it was going to turn into a horror story ther Ha Ha, I dont mind if you use it as long as you don't kill me off in it LOL

  11. Sounds like the plot to a scary movie...
    Killer Kudzu...


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