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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1893, from Japanese kuzu. Perennial climbing plant native to Japan and China, introduced in U.S. southeast as forage (1920s) and to stop soil erosion (1930s) and quickly got out of hand.


n. An Asian vine grown as a root starch and sometimes considered a (w: noxious weed).


n. fast-growing vine from eastern Asia having hairy trifoliate leaves and racemes of purple flowers followed by long many-seed hairy pods and tuberous starchy roots; grown for fodder and forage and root starch; widespread in the southern United States [syn: kudzu vine, Pueraria lobata]


Kudzu (, also called Japanese arrowroot) is a group of plants in the genus Pueraria, in the pea family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. They are climbing, coiling, and trailing perennial vines native to much of eastern Asia, Southeast Asia, and some Pacific islands. The name comes from the Japanese name for the plants, , which was written "kudzu" in historical romanizations. Where these plants are naturalized, they can be invasive and are considered noxious weeds. The plant climbs over trees or shrubs and grows so rapidly that it kills them by heavy shading. The plant is edible, but often sprayed with herbicides.

Kudzu (comic strip)

Kudzu was a daily comic strip by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Doug Marlette about rural Southerners. Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, the strip ran from 1981 to 2007.

The title came from the kudzu vine which was introduced to the Southern United States (and initially encouraged) as a soil erosion control plant, but soon became an out-of-control invasive species.

The daily strip was launched on a Monday, June 15, 1981. At its peak, it was syndicated in 300 newspapers. Marlette's flippant treatment of depression—a character read a magazine called Modern Depression which featured "Suicide notes to the editor"—drew criticism from advocates for the mentally ill.

Kudzu (disambiguation)

Kudzu, a climbing, coiling, and trailing vine in the genus Pueraria, native to southern Japan and southeast China

Kudzu may also refer to:

  • Kudzu (comic strip), Doug Marlette's daily comic strip created in May 1981
  • Kudzu (game creature), a flower-like monster in the game SMASH Monsters
  • Kudzu (newspaper), a newspaper published in Jackson, Mississippi starting in September 1968
  • Kudzu (computer daemon), a Red Hat Linux hardware probing library
  • Kudzu bug, a type of stinkbug and pest to crops - the Megacopta cribraria. Originally in India and China but recently infesting the south eastern United States.
  •, advertising service
Kudzu (newspaper)

The Kudzu was a counterculture underground newspaper published in Jackson, Mississippi starting in September 1968. Promising "Subterranean News from the Heart of Ole Dixie" and offering a blend of hip culture and radical politics, it was founded by members of the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC), a student activist group affiliated with SDS. Founding editors were Cassell Carpenter, David Doggett, and Everett Long, students at Millsaps College in Jackson. Despite harassment by police and city officials it survived until May 1972.

Before launching Kudzu David Doggett, who had been hired as a full-time organizer for Mississippi by SSOC, spent a month living in the basement of The Great Speckled Bird, their sister newspaper in Atlanta, learning the mechanics of underground newspaper production. The paper was biweekly, but due to publishing delays it generally came out about once every three weeks during its first year, and about once every 6 weeks thereafter. The papers were sold at high schools, colleges, and downtown Jackson, with additional distribution at colleges and other locations across Mississippi. Over the life of the paper about 32 issues were published, with about 6000 copies printed of each issue. Because they could not find an affordable printer in Jackson, Kudzu was forced to go to The Louisiana Weekly, a black newspaper in New Orleans, to get the paper printed. The paper had few advertisers and was financed mostly out of the pockets of the editors, who lost the small amount of financial support they were receiving from SSOC when that group disbanded in mid-1969.

Kudzu (computer daemon)

Kudzu is a hardware probing program (written by Red Hat Linux) which relies on a library of hardware device information. When the computer boots, kudzu detects changes in the running system's hardware configuration, if any, and activates the newly detected hardware (or removal of hardware). kudzu only runs at boot time, and then exits. There is no performance penalty during normal operation. (Since Fedora release 9, kudzu is supplemented by HAL) kudzu detects and configures new and/or changed hardware on a system. When started, kudzu detects the current hardware, and checks it against a database stored in /etc/sysconfig/hwconf, if one exists. It then determines if any hardware has been added or removed from the system. If so, it gives the users the opportunity to configure any added hardware, and unconfigure any removed hardware. It then updates the database in /etc/sysconfig/hwconf. Options usage

--help, -?

Print help information.

-q, --quiet

Run 'quietly'; do only configuration that doesn't require user input.

-s, --safe

Do only 'safe' probes that won't disturb hardware. Currently, this disables the serial probe, the DDC monitor probe, and the PS/2 probe.

-t, --timeout [seconds]

This sets the timeout for the initial dialog. If no key is pressed before the timeout elapses, kudzu exits, and /etc/sysconfig/hwconf is not updated.

-k, --kernel [version]

When determining whether a module exists, use the specified kernel version. (If this is not set, it defaults to the current kernel version.) Do not specify suffixes such as 'smp' or 'summit'; these are automatically searched.

-b, --bus [bus]

Only probe on the specified bus.

-c, --class [class]

Only probe for the specified class.

-f, --file [file]

Read hardware probe info from file file and do not do an actual probe.

-p, --probe

Print probe information to the screen, and do not actually configure or unconfigure any devices.



Listing of current installed hardware.


Configuration for the boot-time hardware probe. Set 'SAFE' to something other than 'no' to force only safe probes.


Module configuration file.


Network interface configuration files.


The serial probe will disturb any currently in-use devices, and returns odd results if used on machines acting as serial consoles. On some older graphics cards, the DDC probe can do strange things.

Running kudzu to configure network adapters post-boot after the network has started may have unintended results.

Usage examples of "kudzu".

My special thanks to Edith Edwards of Kudzu Konnections in Rutherfordton.

I once wrote about the destructive qualities of kudzu in a book called The Glass Flame, but now I have learned about its virtues.

The Book of Kudzu provided me with a fascinating collection of recipes, not only for culinary purposes but for healing as well, all helpful in my fiction writing.

I found her busy with a customer, so I wandered back to the kudzu room to discover just how friendly the ubiquitous vine might be.

A large poster asked whether I knew that Kudzu makes wonderful nonbloating forage for cattle?

Fresh kudzu shoots, picked right off the vine, are delicious in a salad?

When her customer had gone, Finella found me leafing through the kudzu material and her eyes brightened.

His mouth seemed to clamp shut in the mat of shaggy whiskers and he picked up his sack and walked past me toward the kudzu room.

I would have disappeared into the kudzu room, but she looked up and saw me.

Along the road, kudzu had made beautiful sculptures, hiding everything that lay beneath.

Ty Frazer would never run out of vines to harvest, and it was certainly time for the South to wake up to the way kudzu might be put to use.

Natalie interested herself in a plate of succulent shrimp and tomato wedges set in a nest of bright green kudzu leaves and then went on.

When I looked into the backseat, I saw with delight that her costume consisted of kudzu leaves--cut from cloth that was almost the exact green of the plant.

Lights had been placed all around the area, and I could see that the sides of the barn were covered with walls of lush kudzu vines, so that the barn seemed to wear its own costume.

Great kudzu leaves shone with their own green light, eerie and unnatural.