The biology of invasive alien plants in Canada. 12. Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) Sanjappa & Predeep.

Lindgren, C.J., Castro, K.L., Coiner, H.A., Nurse, R.E., and Darbyshire, S.J. (2013). "The biology of invasive alien plants in Canada. 12. Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) Sanjappa & Predeep.", Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 93(1), pp. 71-95. doi : 10.4141/cjps2012-128  Access to full text

Abstract

Pueraria montana var. lobata, is a perennial climbing vine known for its rapid and competitive growth. Introduced to North America and promoted at various times as a crop, an ornamental, and an erosion prevention tool, its negative impacts have been varied and severe in the United States. Dense populations overtop and smother crops and native vegetation, alter nitrogen cycles, and have the potential to affect air quality. Kudzu is winter-deciduous in North America with stems re-growing each season. In Canada, growth occurs from May until September, long enough for production of viable seed. Although widely believed to be intolerant of winter temperatures typical in eastern Canada, underground structures may be able to withstand temperatures as low as −30°C, and northward range expansion is predicted by climate change models. Dispersal in North America is primarily through intentional planting by humans, with clonal propagation and limited seed production and germination contributing to local population expansion. Only one population is known in Canada, near Leamington, Ontario. Once established, kudzu is difficult to eliminate or control without repeated actions. Efforts to prevent the movement and sale of kudzu in Canada, along with early detection and rapid response, monitoring, and education, offer potential strategies for control. Depending on the age, size and location of the population, herbicides, burning, mowing and grazing can be effective control measures.

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