Kudzu (Pueraria lobata)

Kudzu is a trailing or twining plant with stems up to 3 m long. It grows very quickly and smothers other plants up to 30 m high.

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How does this weed affect you?

Kudzu grows very quickly and smothers ground cover plants and trees.  It smothers and kills native plants, which reduces habitat and food for native animals. In plantations and horticultural crops it competes for nutrients and increases management costs. It can also cover and damage buildings.

What does it look like?

Kudzu is a trailing or twining plant with hairy stems up to 30 m long. It has large edible underground tubers. The leaves have three leaflets. Each of the leaflets may have 3 lobes or if not lobed they can be oval or diamond shaped. The flowers are purple, blue or pink with a basal yellow spot and mostly present in summer. 

Where is it found?

Kudzu grows on the North Coast and Central Coast of NSW.

It is native to China, Japan and South East Asia.

Maps and records

  • Recorded presence of Kudzu during property inspections (Map: Biosecurity Information System - Weeds, 2017-2022)
    These records are made by authorised officers during property inspections under the Biosecurity Act 2015. Officers record the presence of priority weeds in their council area and provide this to the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Records reflect the presence of the weed on the date of inspection.

  • Estimated distribution of Kudzu in NSW (Map: NSW Noxious Weed Local Control Authorities, 2010)
    Map shows weed distribution and density estimated by local council weeds officers in 2010.

More information

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Control

By hand

If there are just a few plants they can be removed by hand. Dig out the tubers and make sure all parts of the plant are removed and disposed of. Contact your local council for advice on how to dispose of this plant.  Treat the plants as soon as you can becasue they grow very quickly.

Grazing

Continual grazing can weaken and kill kudzu. Pigs can dig out and eat the tubers.

Chemical control

Spot spraying

Thoroughly cover all of the foliage with the herbicide mix to the point of runoff.

In riparian areas and native vegetation, apply herbicide to kudzu plants in full leaf, mid to late spring, followed by a second application in autumn.

In open pastures, apply a single application to kudzu plants in spring or autumn. Allow time for regrowth following grazing.

Herbicide options

WARNING - ALWAYS READ THE LABEL
Users of agricultural or veterinary chemical products must always read the label and any permit, before using the product, and strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any permit. Users are not absolved from compliance with the directions on the label or the conditions of the permit by reason of any statement made or not made in this information. To view permits or product labels go to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website www.apvma.gov.au

See Using herbicides for more information.


PERMIT 11604 Expires 30/09/2024
Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg (Various products)
Rate: 10 g per 100 L of water
Comments: Foliar application from spring to autumn. For further information read the permit critical use comments.
Withholding period: Nil (recommended not to graze for 7 days before treatment and for 7 days after treatment to allow adequate chemical uptake in target weeds).
Herbicide group: B, Inhibitors of acetolactate synthase (ALS inhibitors)
Resistance risk: High


PERMIT 11604 Expires 30/09/2024
Triclopyr 300 g/L + Picloram 100 g/L (Various products)
Rate: 500 mL per 100 L of water
Comments: Foliar application from spring to autumn. For further information read the permit critical use comments.
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
Greater Sydney Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Eradication)
The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
Hunter Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Prevention)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
North Coast
Exclusion zone: whole region excluding the core infestation area of Richmond Valley Council, Ballina Shire Council, Bellingen Shire Council, Clarence Valley Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Lismore Council, Kyogle Council, Byron Shire Council and Tweed Shire Council
Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Containment)
Whole region: The plant or parts of the plant should not be traded, carried, grown or released into the environment. Exclusion zone: The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Core infestation area: Land managers should reduce impacts from the plant on priority assets.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfil the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.
For further information call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline on 1800 680 244 or send an email to weeds@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Reviewed 2017