Virginia Tech Dendrology

kudzu Fabaceae Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr. Listen to the Latin symbol: PUMO
Leaf: Alternate, compound, 6 to 8 inches long, very long rachis, 3 fuzzy leaflets, individual leaflets 3 to 4 inches long, oval or nearly heart shaped, may be lobed and fuzzy.
Flower: Large hanging clusters of pea-like, purple to red flowers, with a grape-like smell, appearing in mid-summer.
Fruit: Dark brown flattened pods in clusters, very hairy; ripen in the fall.
Twig: Velvety hairy turning brown.
Bark: Brown and smooth but eventually becoming finely scaly.
Form: High climbing vine, very often completely covers trees and forms "Kudzu sculptures". Stems may reach up to 4 inches in diameter.
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Pueraria montana is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting kudzu.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654