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Kudzu (pronounced / k dzu / Pueraria lobata, and possibly other species in the genus Pueraria see taxonomy section below) is a plant in the genus Pueraria in the pea family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It is a climbing, coiling, and trailing vine native to southern Japan and southeast China. Its name comes from the Japanese name for the plant, Kuzu ( or e). Kudzu is sometimes called ge g n (Chinese e), and (due to its out-of-control growth in the Southeastern United States) has earned such nicknames as the “foot-a-night vine”, “mile-a-minute vine”, and “the vine that ate the South” (of the United States). In Vietnam, it is called s n d y. Five species in the genus Pueraria are closely related and the name kudzu describes one or more of them. They are P. montana, P. lobata, P. edulis, P. phaseoloides and P. thomsoni. The morphological differences between the five species are subtle, they can breed with each other, and it appears that introduced kudzu populations in the United States have ancestry from more than one of the species. The name Pueraria thunbergiana is a synonym for Pueraria montana var. lobata.clarification needed Kudzu spreads by vegetative expansion, via stolons (runners) that root at the nodes to form new plants and by rhizomes. Kudzu will also spread by seeds, which are contained in pods and mature in the autumn, although this is rare. One or two viable seeds are produced per cluster of pods. The hard-coated seeds may not germinate for several years, which can result in the reappearance of the species years after it was thought eradicated at a site.