- Photo credits: ©Nathan Schiff
- All Pueraria species, including Pueraria montana var. lobata and Pueraria lobata. Common names include Kudzu vine, Japanese arrowroot and foot-a-night vine
- Habitat: The vine typically grows in mixed forests but has also been found in managed habitats such as road and rail embankments, pastures, conifer plantations and riverbanks.
- Description: Japanese arrowroot is a rope-like, semi-woody plant. It is deciduous with leaves alternately arranged and compound, with three broad leaflets up to 20cm across. Leaflets may be entire or deeply 2-3 lobed with hairy margins. Individual flowers are about 15cm long, purple, highly fragrant and are in long hanging clusters. Kudzu vine is a densely-packed climber with large hairy dark brown stems that grow up to 15 meters in length.
- Origin and Distribution: Native to eastern Asia, it has been imported into the EU only recently as a horticultural curiosity. So far, the species has only escaped into the wild in Italy (as well as in Switzerland).
- Potential/Known Impacts: The potential for damage is high because the mass of scrambling leaves can radically alter forest areas and crowd out native shrubs and trees. It has the potential to damage tree bark or uproot trees due to extra weight. It can also have negative effects on recreational facilities, as well as on forestry activities and crop production.
- How could it get here?
Through import as a horticultural curiosity.
- Is it found in Ireland or Northern Ireland? It is not found in Ireland or Northern Ireland.
Static Distribution Map as of December 2019 - Courtesy of CEDaRStatic Distribution Map as of December 2019 - Courtesy of CEDaR
- Methods for prevention: Once the species is well established, management becomes very difficult. EU-level action includes a ban on sales and any planting or keeping, including in gardens, and a rapid eradication of any new population to avoid the excessively high costs associated with its management later on.Where the species has become widely spread, appropriate management measures have to be taken.
- Current Legislative Position (Pueraria montana var. lobata Listed on 03 August 2016) This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment. For further queries, you can contact the Non Native Invasive Species Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558.