Q: Please settle a family argument! I say kudzu has flowers – they say it does not. Who is right?
A: How would there be baby kudzu if there were no seed?! Kudzu certainly has flowers – they are small, purple/white and appear in late summer. The smell reminds many people of grape Kool-Aid. The kudzu beans that appear later have been consumed for centuries in the Orient. They are quite tasty stir-fried!
I must confess that my grandfather, Walter Cowart, was a hearty promoter of kudzu in its heyday. But where this noxious vine is concerned, I decline to honor my elders. If kudzu had been around during the Civil War, Atlantans could have planted it on the approach routes to the city and handily tripped up Mr. Sherman and his troops.
Fall is a great time to spray herbicide on kudzu. The leaves are much more apt to take the chemical deep into the vine’s root system.
February is another good time to chop down all kudzu vines on your property so you can gain access to every part of its range in May. Spray the leaves when they are the size of your hand, then respray the resprouts in September.
Triclopyr (Enforcer Brush Killer, Brush-B-Gon) and glyphosate (Roundup, etc) are very effective on kudzu and other vines like honeysuckle and wild blackberry.