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Have you ever seen kudzu seeds? — The Grow Network Community
If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden.

- Robert Brault

Have you ever seen kudzu seeds?

I'm cleaning and saving seeds today - lots of insect damage this year! They look like tiny speckled butter beans to me... and it is a wonder any survive as fragile the plant is when young. As some of you know, I've been working on "taming" a less vigorous kudzu vine to be grown in pots by folks who could use it for food and fodder.... imagine, the sheer volume of food (protein rich leaves) that could be grown if one could tame "the vine that ate the South".... I'm in year 2 of my breeding program, and am experimenting with kudzu microgreens this winter.

Comments

  • HassenaHassena Posts: 119 ✭✭✭

    Interesting, are you selecting less vigorous plants?

    are you concerned with accidental dispersal?


    Like kudzo isn't around say Phoenix for example. If someone was growing it in a pot, seeds could be dispersed through the canal system. The plant never going dormant in their wild winters. be careful. I am sure you are...sterile kudzu, possibly a hybrid where the seeds aren't viable may be good to explore. I just can't help to think of african fountain grass, buffel grass, eucalyptus, salt cedar, mexican fan palms. all these plants arrived out west with good intentions and now they are all exploding invasives.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 775 admin
    edited October 2019

    @Hassena I'm selecting for less vigor and growing it as a house plant. It is leguminous, so the seeds don't easily spread in the wind or water... they are like beans. When kudzu spreads invasively, it is due to root crowns - anywhere the vine touches the ground, it will try to root. And, that cat has been out of the bag for around 100 years in these parts..... kudzu grows everywhere as a major invasive nuisance! So yes, I am very careful.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 775 admin

    We all acknowledge that "weeds heal soil".... well, that is how kudzu became widespread in the American South (being native to Asia). Around 1900, the "wealth" of the agrarian South was washing downstream.  Heavy tillage and erosion were destroying farms.  Kudzu likes the poorest red clay and sand, stops erosion, fixes nitrogen and lays down tons of mulch as it dies back with even a light frost.  It is excellent food, medicine and fiber for humans and animals.  A "tame" kudzu could be an amazing thing.

  • merlin44merlin44 Posts: 441 ✭✭✭✭


    @judsoncarroll4 Have you come across the book by Timothy Lee Scott-"Invasive Plant Medicine The Ecological Benefits and Healing Abilities of Invasives". If not, you might find it interesting.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 775 admin

    That one and Beyond the War on Invasive Species are definitely on my need to read list.... but it is a long list... Channing Cope's Front porch Farmer and The Book of Kudzu by William Shurtleff are the classics on kudzu, specifically. Cope is a hero of mine - he was a real character!

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Thank you for sharing the photographs of the seeds and providing an insight on "invasive plant" medicine.

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