I wonder if those who lived in the late 1800s would notice what they started. While we innocently plant new landscape to liven up our properties, do we really realize what those little lives can become? Those who concluded Kudzu would be a great prevention of erosion certainly didn't look beyond their horizons.
I recall when we first visited Tennessee, I was so impressed with the different colors of green, specifically the huge vines adhering everywhere. I later learned that "vine" is called Kudzu. I've done a little research...and I want to share this interesting information with you. I'm copying and pasting from Wikipedia, so I credit them with the content of this blog.
Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a serious invasive plant in the United States. It has been spreading in the southern U.S. at the rate of 150,000 acres (61,000 ha) annually, "easily outpacing the use of herbicide spraying and mowing, as well increasing the costs of these controls by $6 million annually."Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences. This has earned it the nickname, "The vine that ate the South."
The kudzu plant was introduced to the United States in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Kudzu was introduced to the Southeast in 1883 at the New Orleans Exposition. The vine was widely marketed in the Southeast as an ornamental plant to be used to shade porches and in the first half of the 20th century, kudzu was distributed as a high-protein content cattle fodder and as a cover plant to prevent soil erosion. The Soil Erosion Service recommended the use of kudzu to help control erosion of slopes which led to the government-aided distribution of 85 million seedlings and government-funded plantings of kudzu which paid $19.75 per hectare. By 1946, it was estimated that 1,200,000 hectares (3,000,000 acres) of kudzu had been planted. When boll weevil infestations and the failure of cotton crops drove farmers to move from rural to urban districts, kudzu plantings were left unattended.