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    Kudzu [Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr. var. lobata (Willd.) Maesen and Almeidal is a perennial, semi-woody, climbing legume in the tribe Phaseoleae Benth., subtribe Glycininae Benth. (Maesen 1985, Maesen and Almeida 1988, Ward 1998). It is native to China, where an abundance of natural enemies (Pemberton 1988) and its cultivation prevent kudzu from becoming either an important economic or environmental liability. Kudzu was introduced to the United States as an ornamental during middle of the 19th century. During first half of the 20th century, approximately 134,760 ha were planted throughout the southeastern United States to feed livestock and for erosion control (Wheeler 1950). During 1998, kudzu was included by legislators in the United States Congress on a growing list of invasive, exotic plants recognized under the Federal Noxious Weed Law. Presently, it costs commercial forests approximately $119/ha annually (Beckwith and Dangerfield 1996), it compromises the integrity of valuable natural resources, and dense infestations have interfered with exercises on military bases in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia (Al Cofrancesco, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Mississippi, pers. comm.).

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    Jewett, D.K.; Jiang, C.J.; Britton, K.O.; Sun, J.H.; Tang, J. 2003. Characterizing Specimens of Kudzu and Related Taxa with RAPD''s. Castanea, Vol. 68, No. 3, September 2003

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