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John and others - Re: Kudzu

Posted by Kathy G on 7/30/03 at 10:18 (125653)

As a Northerner, I had to do a search to find out what it was! It's interesting. Imagine the government actually encouraged the planting of it. It made sense; it surely helped to stop erosion. I swore we had a vine similar to it in our backyard but then I saw the pictures of the bushes and I think I'm wrong. I have a brother-in-law who knows all kinds of interesting information so I'll have to ask him if it grows in New England. It doesn't look like something we want to introduce!

We have similar problems with Purple Loosestrife. We didn't have it here until about fifteen years ago. Now it's choking out everything in sight. It's one of those things that is so pretty that you find yourself admiring the fields of it until you realize that it's killing off every other native vegetation.

Maybe the Nutria would like eating that! I still have to do a search to find a picture of one of them!

Ah, the things I would never have known if I hadn't gotten PF and discovered this Board!

Re: John and others - Re: Kudzu

Kathy G on 7/30/03 at 10:23 (125656)

Oh, Yuck! I found some pictures of Nutria! Guess I'll give up my idea of moving to LA and hunting them. If I saw one, I'd go in the other direction----Quickly! :-&

Re: John and others - Re: Kudzu

Aly on 7/30/03 at 10:42 (125658)

With all the talk about these 'Nutrias' I had to go and look one up for myself. But I think they're CUTE! Of course, I would prefer not to injest one, but to me they look like groundhogs or little beavers.

Ok, I confess, I'm an animal freak. What can I say... :D

Re: John and others - Re: Kudzu

marie on 7/30/03 at 11:12 (125661)

Kudsu came from Japan. Some of the southern teacher's I was traveling with in Japan said they felt right at home when they saw that Kudsu was growing everywhere in Japan. If you have temperate weather in NH it may thrive there. I spent much of my childhood in Decatur, Georgia. I have many wonderful memories of Kudsu in the woods across the street from our house. I use to love to pick the viney things that attach themselves to anything they can and bite into them. Don't eat it. They have a sour but delightful taste.

Re: John and others - Re: Kudzu

Carole C in NOLA on 7/30/03 at 11:39 (125667)

Kathy, nutria are scary for a city girl like me! I'd do the same thing. But then, I'm afraid of cows, too. :o

Carole C

Re: John and others - Re: Kudzu

Dorothy on 7/30/03 at 11:52 (125669)

Yes, purple loosestrife is a beautiful deceiver, isn't it. It has been a 'lovely' nightmare in beautiful Michigan where wetlands have been plentiful, a blessing, and people have intentionally planted purple loosestrife - and now native wetland plants, like cattails, for example, are in a struggle with the 'beautiful' loosestrife. What difference does it make, some might say? Well, these native wetland plants are an integral part of the filtering and cleansing process that water and wetlands need - and loosestrife is not.
All too often, America goes for beauty over substance, for the 'quick fix' over prevention and common sense. Many of these non-native invasive species got here as a result of that mentality. Some got here through what should have been called criminal behavior, like the emptying of ballasts into the Great Lakes by big ships from the Balkans or other foreign sites that dumped the Gobi fish or Zebra mussels and so many other problems into those marvelous waters.

If a science fiction/horror movie were made about kudzu, we would all find it unbelievable and horrifying. Unfortunately, kudzu is real - and still horrifying.
The Japanese do dry it and grind it (not sure if roots and/or leaves) and use it medicinally. I do not know if it does any good or for what. I suspect it is just a way to get rid of some of it....but I speculate that if every American lived solely on a kudzu diet for decades it would not even make a dent in the amount of the stuff!