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   Pueraria montana var. lobata (liane)  English     
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      Kudzu vine (Photo: Kazuo Yamasaki) - Click for full size   Young kudzu vines in mid-summer showing hairs (taken in July) (Photo credit: Ted Bodner) - Click for full size   Close-up of older Kudzu vine (taken in November) (Photo credit: James H. Miller) - Click for full size   Kudzu leaves with lobes (taken in October) (Photo credit: James H. Miller) - Click for full size   Kudzu leaves without  lobes (taken in October) (Photo credit: James H. Miller) - Click for full size   Kudzu flowers in mid-summer (taken in July) (Photo credit: Ted Bodner) - Click for full size   Kudzu seeds in late fall showing golden brown hairs (taken in November) (Photo credit: Ted Bodner) - Click for full size   Kudzu infestation in mid-summer overtaking tops (taken in July) (Photo credit: James H. Miller) - Click for full size   Kudzu infestation in spring (taken in April) (Photo credit: James H. Miller) - Click for full size
    Nom taxonomique: Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) Maesen & S. Almeida
    Synonymes: Dolichos hirsutus Thunberg, Dolichos lobatus Willd., Pachyrrhizus thunbergianus Siebold & Zuccarini, Pueraria hirsuta (Thunb.) C. Schneider, Pueraria lobata var. thomsonii (Benth.) Maesen, Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi, Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr. var. lobata (Willd.), Pueraria thunbergiana (Sieb. & Zucc.) Benth.
    Noms communs: acha, aka (Niuean), aka (Tongan), aka (Wallis and Futuna), aka fala (Niuean), akataha (Tongan), fen ge (Chinese), fen ke (Chinese), foot-a-night vine (English), gan ge (Chinese), gan ge teng (Chinese), Japanese arrowroot (English), Ko-hemp (German), Kopoubohne (German), kudzu (English), kudzu común (Spanish), kudzu vine (English), Kudzu-Kletterwein (German), kuzu (Japanese), nepalem (French), shan ge teng (Chinese), vigne japonaise (French), vine-that-ate-the-South (English), wa yaka, wa yaka (Fijian)
    Type d'organisme: liane
    Pueraria montana var. Lobata est une liane légumineuse, semi-ligneuse, semblable à de la corde avec une croissance rapide pouvant constituer un envahissement dense couvrant le sol et les arbres. Elle est reportée avoir envahi environ 2 à 3 millions d'hectares dans l'Est des États-Unis et causée des pertes estimées à 500 millions de dollars US par an en productivité et en coûts de contrôle. On la retrouve dans les zones tempérées, ou à des altitudes plus élevées dans les régions tropicales, et elle pousse dans presque tous les milieux, des forêts les plus sèches jusqu'aux bord de l'eau, mais pas dans les sols périodiquement inondés.
    Se rencontre dans:
    broussailles/savanes, forêts naturelles, plantations forestières, prairies, rudéral/perturbé, zones agricoles, zones ripisylves, zones urbaines
    Description de l'habitat
    The typical natural habitats of kudzu are open lands or shrub lands adjacent to broad-leaved or mixed forests, but it readily invades managed habitats such as road and rail embankments, abandoned pastures, and banks of inland water bodies (EPPO 2007). It colonises a wide variety of natural and semi-natural habitats (EPPO 2007), for example forest edges, disturbed areas or scrub vegetation (van der Maesen 1985 1994 2002; Halim 1992, in Heider et al. 2007). While tropical kudzu (P. phaseoloides) thrives in humid and low altitude habitats, kudzu prefers warm to temperate zones or higher altitudes (van der Maesen 1985 1994 2002; Halim 1992, in Heider et al. 2007). Kudzu thrives in full sun habitats; growth rates and survival are reduced in shaded stands of trees (Abramovitz 1983; Forseth and Teramura 1987, in Forseth and Innis 2004; Carter and Teramura 1988).

    Kudzu grows well with annual precipitation of 1000 to 1500 millimeters on sand or clay soil (Sunet al. 2006). Because of its large roots which act as water reservoirs, kudzu can also withstand fairly dry climates (Shurtleff and Aoyagi 1977, in Mitich 2000; Zhang and Ye 1990, in Sun et al. 2006). It prefers high summer temperatures (over 27°C) and deep, well-drained loamy soils. However the plant is able to survive in frosted and shallow soils even though its roots cannot develop fully (Pron 2006, in EPPO 2007). It is relatively indifferent to soil pH; according to soil analyses the plant can grow in soils with a soil pH from 3 to 8 (EPPO 2007).

    In Japan kudzu ranges in latitude from 44°N to 30°N. It grows abundantly in mountainous areas up to an elevation of 1000 m; it is also found in lowland areas and on many of the small islands. In Korea it grows in areas where the temperature drops to -30°C (Shurtleff and Aoyagi 1977, in Mitich 2000).

    Kudzu’s greatest potential today may be the powdery extract derived from the plant's roots used as cooking starch. Kudzu leaves, shoots, and flowers are used in salads, soups, sauteed dishes and casseroles. Kudzu has medicinal properties and has been used for millennia in China and Japan to cure a wide range of common ailments (Shurtleff and Aoyagi 1977. In Japan, young kudzu vines are harvested to provide supple waterproof fibers for weaving sturdy wicker baskets or trunks. The cellulose fiber from large vines and roots is used as the basic raw material for making fine traditional paper. The fiber is also used to stuff cushions, beds, and chairs. When burned, it acts as a mosquito repellent (Shurtleff and Aoyagi 1977, in Mitich 2000). Kudzu has been used to produce an unusually fragrant, flavorful honey. Its leguminous roots host nitrogen-fixing bacteria that enrich the soil (Shurtleff and Aoyagi 1977). Kudzu has also been successfully used in the experimental production of methane and gasohol (Hipps 1994, in Mitich 2000). The main uses of kudzu in the United States have been for erosion control and as a forage crop; while kudzu is still valued as a soil-conserving plant for erosion control on steep slopes and embankments, less invasive species are now available for stabilization purposes (Birdsall and Hough-Goldstein 2004).
    Climate Change: Jarnevich and Stohlgren (2009) examined how the potential distribution of kudzu will be affected by changing climate and created habitat suitability models that indicate that P. montana may increase its distribution particularly in the Northeast United States with climate change and may decrease in other areas. Predictions of global warming include increases of 3°C to 5°C in mean global temperatures (IPCC 2001, in Forseth and Innis 2004). These trends should favor the spread of P. montana (Forseth and Innis 2004). Kudzu has recently showed northward and westward migration patterns in the United States that correlate with warmer winters and higher CO² levels (Ziska et al. 2009).

    Related Species: P. montana var. lobata is the variety that has been introduced into the United States and South America. The range of this variety overlaps with that of P. montana var. montana in China south of the Yangtze River to Hong Kong. The distribution of P. montana var. montana also includes Vietnam, Burma, Laos and Thailand. In these countries, and in southern China, P. montana var. montana shares its distribution with P. montana var. thomsoni and and P. montana var. chinensis. Specimens from northeast India were identified as P. montana var. thomsoni (van der Maesen 1985, in Britton et al. 2002).

    This profile pertains to Pueraria montana var. lobata. Characteristics that had been used previously to differentiate P. montana from P. lobata and Pueraria thomsoni (Benth.) are lobed leaflets, and the size of wing and keel petals, all of which can be quite variable. For information on the taxonomy of P. montana please see Ward (1998).

    Stades du cycle de vie
    Seedlings develop a woody root crown, with multiple runners and extensive tuberous roots (Britton et al. 2002).
    Cette espèce figure sur la liste de l’UICN des 100 espèces parmi les plus envahissantes au monde
    Révisé par: Dr. James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Auburn, AL 36849 USA.
    Compilé par: Profile revision: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
    Dernière mise à jour: Monday, 22 March 2010

ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland