Green and Growing (and Growing and Growing)

Yes, kudzu actually has flowers (it’s a plant, not a monster).

It smothers hillsides throughout the South, turning telephone poles into spooky green smokestacks straight out of a vintage horror movie. It’s immune to herbicides, machetes, and the collective outrage aimed against it by landowners, developers, and some horticulturists. But now the emotional tide seems to be turning, and the invasive vine kudzu is being newly appreciated. It can be used to weave baskets and feed livestock, and it’s even a delicacy for humans, when treated with the right culinary finesse. Chimney Rock Park celebrates kudzu with a day of events on Saturday, August 12.

For more on kudzu, see our story in this month’s Bold Life, The Vine that Ate the South.

(And enjoy the drive to the park, especially along Highway 64, where the kudzu in August is arguably the lushest anywhere in the mountains.)

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