Kudzu (Pueraria montana) is a perennial, semi-woody vine that can grow up to 100 feet long. It was introduced from eastern Asia as a forage crop and ornamental, and was widely planted to control soil erosion prior to 1953. It has three-part compound leaves and reddish-purple flowers, and its fruits are hairy brown pods.
It grows rapidly—up to 1 foot per day—and smothers native vegetation.
To control this plant, you must destroy the extensive root system; it’s best to locate and manage new populations before they become large. Repeated close mowing or cutting over several years may be effective. Another option is the application of systemic herbicides, but repeated treatments may be needed to control well-established populations. Always read and follow the directions on the label when using herbicide.