Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Take a Sniff of the Aromatic Kudzu Flower
I've been telling people for years about the sweet flower of the kudzu (kuzu, 葛) plant and now, you can see it and smell it for yourself. A walk along the Roanoke River in Riverside Park will present these lovely, aromatic plants in full flower.
Kudzu is known for its prevalence in the deep south, but it was actually brought to the U.S. from its native Japan (where it is used to feed livestock; it is also edible by humans). It was featured at the 1876 Philadelphia Continental Expo as an ornamental bush, one that would hold back banks. It was planted heavily in the southern U.S. and astonished all by growing over buildings in a breath.
Kudzu is in the pea family and produces hardy seed pods which are hard and can last a long time before germinating.
But go for the smell. The kudzu flowers are similar in smell to honeysuckle and they are beautiful, as you can see here.