Invasives: Kudzu may finally have a purpose

Discussion in 'Plants: Conservation' started by Barbara Lloyd, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Garage inventors have struck again. A man in Tennessee is making bio fuel out of "The plant that ate the south". Kudzu. Google Kudzu fuel and there is all sorts of information on how good it may be. I surley hope it proves out. It grows, whether they want it or not. All they have to do is harvest it and put a really nasty plant to work for us instead of against us.
    Barbara
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    But not so easy to harvest when it is twined round everything!
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    At least there's some good purpose to the green scourge, besides soil reparation - that's why Ecuador imported it, and what did we get for thanks? It ate the coastal plains.
     
  4. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    I believe it was brought in originally as fodder for cud chewers. (Those with four feet)
    Correct me if I'm wrong.
    Barbara Lloyd
     
  5. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes it was originally brought into the U.S. for fodder and later its planting was encouraged to prevent soil erosion. Apparently humans can eat the leaves and flowers as well. I have heard of people eating the roots and knew that powdered Kudzu root was used in Chinese medicine preparations, but this Wikipedia entry describes people in the South making jelly from the flowers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu

    I lived in Atlanta 8 years and I have never seen that. I took a bouquet of the flowers into work one day. Not one of the 50 or so people who passed my desk knew what plant they were from. Everyone was shocked that kudzu actually had such a beautiful flower and sweet fragrance.
     
  6. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    I was at the Skagit County Master Gardeners 1st training session today. Don McMoran, Skagit Co. Ext. Educator spoke of the Percentage of farmers it took to produce food for the people in the early 1900. If I remember correctly it was up around 80%. The number today is around 2 or 3%. We have improved farming methods greatly, but as the population continues to grow we may need to find other "quick" growing food sources. Maybe someone should look into the possibilitys of Kudzu as this source since it is edible. (Can't believe I'm saying this - shades of Soilent Green.)
    Barbara
     
  7. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Here, we try to use goats to control it, but it grows faster than they can munch. Very interesting about it being edible for humans, though. If I can find recipes and whatnot, I'll send them to my friends on the coast who are fighting it.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The difficulty is harvesting. How to untwine it from 20 metres up in the treetops.
     
  9. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Yeah, that's what gets the goats, too.
     
  10. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    I can't believe how plants can escape so quickly. I have brought up before that here in Australia a nursery is actually given the chance to sell off plants before they are declared a weed of whatever level. Again I'll mention the foley of the joke "Value Plant" because you plant one and end up with many or a garden full of it. It's up the sellers to know what's being put out there and the potential it has for becoming a problem.
    I guess in this case its more like our lovely Cane Toad brought in to eat canebeetles in the sugar cane. Sadly the toads can't actually reach up high enough on the cane to get to the bugs! They are mainly in Queensland still but are spreading, eating our native frogs and taking over their environment.
    Then there's the Singapore daisy (Sphagneticola trilobata) which has now "naturalised" itself in areas of Queensland. The Lantana I see mentioned so often here is doing exceedingly well in native forests, it was brought in by english settlers unknowing that it would take off without the cooler climate of home. Groundsel bush, once a herbal remedy, now a fine if you knowingly let it grow on your property, it's from Africa. I won't go on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2010
  11. Careoline

    Careoline Member

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    I'd never seen it till last week while driving towards North Carolina's Chimney State Park. I felt surprisingly claustiphobic. Then, I did a paradym shift: I saw lovely Topiary People standing guard over the roadways. Beautiful...
     

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