Sunday, March 21, 2010
Today I was flipping through National Geographic and noticed a short little article about none other than Kudzu! If you live anywhere in the southern US, you already know exactly what I'm talking about. If you are from somewhere else where this blessed little vine doesn't exist, read on and you will be informed. Here is what it said:
"An Asian vine with flowers that smell like grape drink [can't say I've noticed that], kudzu enticed Americans at a Philadelphia exhibition in 1876. In the 1930's Southerners started planting it to halt soil erosion. They stopped in the 50's, when they realized that the hardy perennial, which can spread up to 60 feet a year, was out of control. Since then, the vine has swallowed 150,00 acres a year--eight million U.S. acres total."
The article showed a little map with kudzu areas highlighted in green. The entire state of Georgia (and of North Carolina) were solid green. Yup, that sounds about right. 8 million acres! Apparently researchers have found some kind of fungus that seems to kill it. They are planning to mix it with herbicides to make it safe enough for people to use.
I have long been of the opinion that kudzu could be a great topic for a horror movie. Preferably a 1950's horror movie. I mean, "The Blob"? Come on. This would be much more interesting and believable. Some mutant strand of kudzu that spreads so fast people wake up and they are trapped in their kudzu covered houses. Stand too close to a tree and you'll get eaten alive. This is good stuff here. Fortunately, Weinan's semi-arid climate means no kudzu, so I'm safe. However, the rest of you might want to look out.