Saturday, August 22, 2009

Roadside Beauty

By Skeeter

While driving through Georgia on my way to Tennessee recently, I could not help but notice all the roadside beauty. Just look at this beautiful Ivy type plant so pretty and lush green. I wonder how long that truck has been by that fence? It looks as though this vine is starting to strangle the truck. Hum....
You are laughing with me and not at me because being a Southern Gal, I know exactly what this invasive stinker is called, Kudzu. The Vine that killed the South! Also known as the "Foot a Night" and "Mile a Minute" vines!Kudzu is Native to Southern Japan and Southeastern China. It was brought to the US as a Forage crop and Ornamental plant around 1876.The Soil Conservation Service encouraged farmers to plant Kudzu from 1935 to early 1950's to reduce Soil Erosion.The Southeastern United States are the perfect climate for it to thrive. With less freezing temps, the vine continues to grow and is now out of control and taking over everything in its path!
The Department of Agriculture listed it as a Pest Weed in 1953. It is growing all over the Southeastern US and a sure sight with interstate travels. I found this information along with more on the Wikipedia Website where more information awaits your interested minds.
As I travel along the interstate, my imagination spots creatures within the Kudzu to pass the time of travel. I see Bears, Dinosaurs and all kinds of interesting things which my mind allows. In this picture, I see an elephants head and trunk, do you? I do find it beautiful at times but wonder how long it will be before it completely takes over the South! I am happy this ROADSIDE BEAUTY is Not, In the Garden....

Does your imagination spot any creatures in the kudzu?


  1. beautifully captured shots!

  2. I see a skeletal eye looking out from under the kudzu in that last picture. :-) Down here in our piece of property we are dealing with potato vine.


  3. It is a monster plant and could hide several, very large dinosaurs! In the UK we have Japanese Knotweed that can stay alive underground for up to 10 years before it re-emerges to conquer the world.
    Pity the poor soul who originally thought these plants were attractive and planted one in their garden :-)

  4. AAAHHH! I'm a Northerer and unable to positively identify kudzu, I've seen things that a thought looked very much like kudzu, but I've never been sure. It look so jungly and very much like Jurassic park!!

  5. Skeeter .. if you had come close enough to it , it might have wrapped around your feet and dragged you in to become one of its treasures ? LOL
    I know we have invasive plants across Canada .. but I have never seen anything thing as rampant as THIS !! SCARY !!

  6. Ummm...did this weed sneak into my garden in NJ? There's something very familiar about Imagine...a mile a minute. Yikes!

  7. Good morning everyone! I am headed for a day of dog sitting for our neighbors. Zip will arrive any minute now and I am getting the cats tummy’s full of wet stinky salmon in hopes they will nap most of the day and leave him alone. lol. The Saint plans to load some wood (he cut last week while I was in TN) to take to the compost dump in town. I am glad I am dog sitting inside today!

    FlyingStars, Thank you! I took them while driving so not as good as they should be but okay. I do NOT recommend snapping pictures while driving but I am pretty good at Multi-tasking...

    Flower Lady, I dont see your eye but I will keep looking for it. :) Oh gee, and I plant Potato Vine in my garden! ARgggggg, I had better be on the lookout...

    Easygardener, This kudzu is known to do the same thing with hiding under ground but I dont think it can last up to 10 years as he Knotweed though. I am lucky to not have any Kudzu in my woods or gardens as there is some just up the road from us...

    Lzyjo, Be glad you dont know about this plant! It is a stinker for sure. Your bio says you live in Tennessee so I am surprised you have never seen this fast growing vine before!

    Joy, ha ha, that is why I stayed in the car when snapping pictures. I decided I may need a quick get away if it started to surround me. hee hee. You cannot drive too long down interstate 75 or 20 before you see the stuff every where. It is pretty draped over the trees but truly scary how it can take over...

    Lynn, it very well could have been kudzu as the info I read on it says it is in parts of New Jersery. So look out....

  8. So glad you posted on this monster vine! We had it so bad in North Carolina and now it is spreading everywhere here too. I always notice it on Boot hill. A mess indeed. Not sure if I see animals in it but I know there are bad things in it! Everyone have a great weekend!

  9. Awful stuff! It's like a plague! There is someone here in TN (I think Chattanooga, not sure) who is trying to develop kudzu for ethanol production. I hope he succeeds!

  10. Skeeter, I too see dinosaurs and elephants and other creatures in the forms of Kudzu as it drapes/smothers the landscape. I thought about a post on this as we drove to SC. What a nasty plant!

  11. It would be nice if we could have some of that up here, maybe the frozen winters would control it. Not much in way of vines, just currant or grapes, I see those often. Still they ge no bigger than a car

  12. Great post on this stuff, Skeeter. I too have seen this vine in my travels in the past. It is here also. As an article in a booklet in local paper stated," it would swallow a train in a half day".
    Some people don't realize the havoc they are creating when they plant this stuff.
    Oh, by the way, did you know that it can be eaten. The younger leaves are supposed to be rather good.
    I also have the wild potato vine to contend with. It does have a rather pretty flower. I must have gotten it via the birds as it does have a berry like thing on it.
    Have a good day everyone.

  13. I forgot. I saw a young bear.

  14. WOW!! It loks like a djungel to me!!!

  15. I used to see that growing when I lived in Georgia in the early to mid 60's and I loved it as it was so pretty but I did not know what it was. However I can see where it could take over as on the back roads it would be growing right up to the road.

    I can see the elephant's head and trunck but also with 1 eye showing. Also, in the 3rd pic I see 2 eyes just staring out at us. They are probably hoping someone will pull them out and save them.

  16. With good intentions they managed to strangle the south with this crazy vine. Dont stand in one place to long!

  17. The Saint worked a bit in the yard while I stayed inside and played with Zip Doggie while watching old Westerns on the Classic Channel today. What fun and such a good boy Zip has been today. His mommy and daddy should be home soon and our house back to normal. He is a great snuggle bunny on the sofa. Cats will be glad when he leaves though. Cheetah has been hiding all day and Sheba is afraid we will love him more then her so she keeps whining for attention. Poor thing is so insecure.....

    Tina, the website I linked says it is in places in Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and even Oklahoma! Wow it does take off like gangbusters. I wanted to get to Boot Hill for pictures but with the intersection all messed up with construction; I opt out on that idea...

    Dave, I read that in our paper a while back. I meant to clip the article but forgot. It would be a great asset if they could find a good use for Kudzu. Can you imagine people paying money for kudzu lol...

    Janet, I did not think I was the only one spying creatures from within the creeping creature itself. lol, I find it fun to spot creatures. Lost of it in South Carolina for sure...

    Dawn, Be careful what you wish for girl! It will take over where ever it thrives! It would not make it up there as it does die out with a prolonged freeze. But with our milder temps these days, who knows, it may one day get your way...

    Lola, Good thing trains move quickly or they would be swallowed by the kudzu! I knew it could be eaten as it was originally brought here as a food for livestock. We would never go hungry if we ate that stuff as there is so much of it. Wonder what it taste like?

    Bangchik and Kakdah, It is beautiful even though a pest for anything near it...

    Linda, A jungle for sure. I would not go walking around in it for fear of a snake climbing the stuff and maybe falling on my head. Yikes!

    Jean, I remember kudzu since I could walk and talk! There’s lots of it on country roads and yes, it does get out into the street. There is a place near us that the county has to remove it back so far each year as it grows in the road. I see some neat things in the kudzu but the most often spotted by my eyes are the dinosaurs and bears it seems. I am trying to see the eyes but with no luck maybe someone did jump in and rescue the face or worse yet, the stuff continues to grow even once in picture form. hee hee...

    Flowrgirl, So right you are, Good intentions gone wrong and dont stand near it too long or you will be taken over for sure!

  18. It reminds me of something in a dr. seuss story. I see thistles taking over our mountains. Sad.

  19. Oh, my! What a healthy looking vine! I do see the creatures you mentioned seeing in the last photo.

  20. Wow it really does take over! I've read lots about kudzu and how it's taking over the south. That's just amazing to see what it can do. Glad it's not in your garden!

  21. Rosey, Kudzu could be in a Dr Seuss book couldn't it? Ah, the fun with the rhymes on that one. Thistle is in my yard but only because we feed the finches’ thistle seed....

    Sue, The Kudzu is one healthy plant in the south! It is growing faster then any weed I know of. Isn’t it fun to use your imagination to find the creatures hidden from within? hee hee...

    Catherine, Kudzu is a stinker of a vine for sure! I am happy it is not in my yard but I do have my share of Greenbrier which is not as bad but a thorn in my side as if kudzu! I doubt kudzu will ever make it as far west as you live but as they say, Never Say Never...

  22. I guess I'm not crazy because I see creatures in the kudzo vines also.

  23. Dot, Some of us are a bit whimsy but not crazy :-)