This has earned it the nickname "the vine that ate the South". It has been spreading rapidly in the southern US.
The leaves, vine tips, flowers, and roots are edible; the vines are not. The leaves can be used like spinach and eaten raw, chopped up and baked in quiches, cooked like collards, or deep fried. Young kudzu shoots are tender and taste similar to snow peas.
This vine was introduced from Japan to the U.S. in 1876 as an ornamental plant, and was later promoted as a natural way to mitigate soil erosion. In fact, farmers in the southern U.S. were paid to plant it on over one million acres.
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