Kudzu is a species of plant life that originated in Japan and southeast china, and has caused extensive destruction to both of these areas. Kudzu was first spotted in the United States at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876, where it was made out to be a hardy, fast-growing ground cover that could help prevent soil erosion. Within 50 years of its introduction to the United States it coined the nicknames “the green menace” and “the vine that ate the south.” The plant grows at a rate of 1 foot every day in the warm months of the summer, and has the power to break power lines, collapse buildings, and destroy trees. The reason that America enjoyed the plant so much was because of the fragrance of the flowers it produces as well as its vivid green leaves. The main cause for its spread came about in the 1930’s when the government of the United States paid farmers to plant it in order to prevent the erosion of soil. Since then it has thrived in the southern states due to their hot summers and mild winters. This species is extremely difficult to uproot and had no predators outside of Asia. It currently covers seven million acres of the Southeast and that number grows daily. It has become the southern farmers number one fear.
I thought this was interesting because I have seen this plant before, and it makes me think about nature and its redeeming quality.