10 Facts About Kudzu

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Leanna Sain to the Power of 10 series. Today, Leanna shares ten important kudzu facts and her latest release, Half-Moon Lake.

Here’s Leanna!

Since the main character, Kathryn Dorne (aka Katelyn Eubanks) has some severe phobias linked to her mysterious childhood, one of which is a fear of kudzu, I thought readers might like to know a few kudzu facts. For those of you who are asking, “What the heck is kudzu?” here’s a definition: a quick-growing eastern Asian climbing plant with purple flowers, used as a fodder crop and for erosion control. It has become a pest in the southeastern US.

10 Facts about Kudzu

1. It was first introduced into the United States at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition by the Japanese in 1876.

2. Its lavender blossoms smell like grape Kool-ade.

3. In 1902, a botanist named David Fairchild warned of the plant’s invasiveness. He was ignored.

4. Shortly after that, the US Soil Conservation decided to use the vine for controlling soil erosion and paid southern farmers $8 an acre to plant it on their land.

5. Three years after the government started paying farmers to plant it, Mr. Fairchild published his warning about kudzu’s dangerous invasiveness in a scientific journal. He was still ignored.

6. By 1960, the government finally got the message and switched its focus from propagation to eradication.

7. By 1970, it was declared a weed, and by 1997, a noxious weed, but by then it was too late. Kudzu loves the climate and growing conditions in the South and had turned into an uncontrollable monster.

8. Kudzu roots can weigh up to 450 pounds and reach 7 feet in length. During the height of summer, the vine can grow a foot a day.

9. All parts of the plant can be used, which is a good thing since there’s so much of it. The vine can be used for basket weaving and for livestock feed. The blossoms can be made into jelly. Roots and leaves can be used in cooking.

10. In the medical field, they’re using kudzu to treat migraines and cluster headaches. Scientists are testing it for use in cancer treatments, alcoholism, allergies, tinnitus, vertigo, and high blood pressure.


When Kathryn Dorne is summoned to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will, she discovers a shocking truth.

Learning her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can’t remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.

With her unremembered, but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate’s deaf-mute gardener and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so, opens the proverbial Pandora’s box.

As her memories return, so does the danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.

Buy links

The Wild Rose Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes


North Carolina native, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover.

Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.

She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs.

Where to find Leanna…

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


10 responses to “10 Facts About Kudzu

  1. Glad to know there are uses for the stuff – but good grief – there are acres and acres of it in southern VA. If you see it starting you need to pull it out! Typical governmental response.

  2. There used to be a great comic strip called Kudzu. Sorry it was discontinued, at least in our paper. Here’s a link to an example in case you’ve missed it. In my opinion, the best use of kudzu so far.

  3. Kudzu has been the bane of my existence for years. I recently spotted it in the neighbors trees. I’m keeping my eye on it. It chokes out everything it invades. Arg!
    Half Moon Lake sounds great, Leanna. I’ll have to check out your others as well.

  4. I had no idea there was ANY useful need for kudzu! Life in the south would have been a lot easier if they had just listened to David Fairchild! The book sounds intriguing.

  5. Interesting, Leanna. I didn’t know about possible medical use, but I surely know the invasive nature of kudzu. My parents lived in North Carolina, and at first I loved the Druidic shapes it gave to the landscape. I soon learned what a monsters it is. How–and why–would one cook the roots?

    • Judy,
      I have that info worked into the story. You’ll have to read the story to find out. 😊
      No, really… one way is to dry the root, grind it up and either use it as a coating to fry with or as a thickener for soups. I hope you’ll try my book. You’ll love it!

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