- Pueraria montana var. lobata is a climbing, deciduous vine capable of reaching lengths of over 100 ft. (30.5 m) in a single season. Its fleshy tap roots can reach 7 in. (18 cm) in width and grow to 9 ft. (3.8 m) deep. These roots can weigh up to 400 lbs. (180 kg).
- Leaves are alternate, compound (with three, usually lobed, leaflets), hairy underneath and up to 5.4 in. (15 cm) long.
- Flowering occurs in midsummer, when 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long, purple, fragrant flowers hang, in clusters, in the axils of the leaves.
- Fruit are brown, hairy, flat, 3 in. (7.6 cm) long, 0.3 in. (0.8 cm) wide seed pods. Each pod can contain 3-10 hard seeds.
- Ecological Threat
- Preferred habitat includes open, disturbed areas such as roadsides, right-of-ways, forest edges, and old fields. Pueraria montana var. lobata often grows over, shades out and kills all other vegetation, including trees. It is native to Asia and was first introduced into the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. It was widely planted throughout the eastern United States in an attempt to control erosion.