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Toxic parts

Although no specific mention has been found for this species, the leaves of the closely related P. hirsuta (which might be no more than a synonym for this species) have barbed hairs and these can cause severe irritation[1].

Edible uses


Root - cooked[2][3]. Rich in starch[4]. The root can be up to 1.8 metres long[5] and has been known to weigh 35 kilos or more[6]. The root contains about 10% starch, this can be extracted and used as a crispy coating in deep fried foods, or for thickening soups etc[5][7]. It can also be made into noodles, or like agar or gelatine is used as a gelling agent for salads[7]. This plant is a staple food in Japan, the peeled root contains about 2.1% protein, 0.1% fat, 27.1% carbohydrate, 1.4% ash[8]. The starch of the roots contains (per 100 g) 340 calories, 16.5 percent moisture, 0.2 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 83.1 g total carbohydrate, 0.1 g ash, 35 mg Ca, 18 mg P, 2.0 mg Fe, and 2 mg Na[6]. A nutritional analysis for the whole root is available.

Flowers - cooked or made into pickles[7].

Stems and young leaves - raw or cooked[2]. A very nutritious food, the fresh young shoots taste like a cross between a bean and a pea[7]. The cooked leaves contain (per 100 g) 36 calories, 89.0 percent moisture, 0.4 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 9.7 g total carbohydrate. 7.7 g fiber, 0.8 fat, 34 mg Ca, 20 mg P, 4.9 mg Fe, 0.03 mg thiamin, 0.91 mg riboflavin, 0.8 mg niacin[6].



Material uses

A tough, strong fibre from the stems is used to make ropes, cables, coarse cordage and textiles[9][4][1][10][11]. The fibre is 2 - 3mm long and can be used to make paper. Straight first year stems, 2 - 2.7 metres long, are harvested in mid summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The fibres are then cooked for 2 hours with lye, tough vines might require 4 hours cooking, and the fibre put in a ball mill for 3 hours. The resulting paper is greenish/cream in colour[11].

Can be used as a ground cover plant in a sunny position[12].

Plants have an extensive root system which can be 1.8 metres deep, they are used for erosion control and for rebuilding depleted soils[3][5]. A member of the Leguminosae, so it adds nitrogen to the soil through the actions of root bacteria.

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The kudzu vine, known as Ge Gen in China, is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs[13]. Recent research has shown that compounds called 'daidzin' and 'daidzein', which are contained in the roots and the flowers, are a safe and effective method for treating alcohol abuse[14]. They work by suppressing the appetite for alcohol, whereas existing treatments interfere with the way the alcohol is metabolised and can cause a build-up of toxins[14]. The plant is often used in combination with Chrysanthemum x morifolium in treating alcohol abuse[15].

The flowers and the roots are antidote, antiemetic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, demulcent, diaphoretic, digestive, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic and hypotensive[5][16][13][17][14]. A concoction of the flowers and tubers is used to treat alcoholism, fever, colds, diarrhoea, dysentery, acute intestinal obstruction etc[5][16][13][17]. It is useful in the treatment of angina pectoris and migraine[13]. The root is frequently used as a remedy for measles, often in combination with Cimicifuga foetida[15]. The root contains puerarin. This increases the blood flow to the coronary artery and protects against acute myocardial ischaemia caused by the injection of pituitrin[16]. The root can be harvested from the autumn to the spring and is used fresh or dried[14]. The flowers are harvested just before they are fully open and are dried for later use[14]. The stems are galactogogue and are also applied as a poultice to incipient boils, swellings, sore mouths etc[13][17]. The seed is used in the treatment of hangover and dysentery[13][17].

The leaves are styptic[13].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Climber or Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover

Soil builder

Earth stabiliser

Nitrogen fixer


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in a warm greenhouse in early spring. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts[18]. Cover the young plants with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well. Division of young shoots from the crown. The young shoots are removed in the spring with some of the underground part of the stem, preferably with some roots already formed. They are potted up and will usually develop new roots from the nodes. They are planted out in the summer if growth is sufficient, otherwise they are grown on in pots for a year and planted out late the following spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Pueraria montana lobata. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Grows best on well-drained loam soil of good fertility[6]. Succeeds in most well-drained soils in a sunny position[18], though it does not make good growth on very light poor sand or on poorly drained heavy clay[6]. Plants cannot stand waterlogging on any soil[6]. A deep-rooted pant, once established it is very drought resistant[3][6]. The plant is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation in the range of 97 to 214cm, an annual mean temperature in the range of 12.2 to 26.7°C, and a pH of 5.0 to 7.1[6].

Plants are hardy to about -15°c, they can resprout from the base if they are cut down by frosts[18]. A twining plant, the top growth is not generally hardy in Britain and plants do not always flower here[19]. Plants can be grown as annuals in Britain, the seed is started off in a greenhouse and is planted out after the last frosts[19]. They can grow up to 6 metres in their first year and make good temporary screens[19]. The plant succeeds outdoors in Berlin, but it has to be propagated vegetatively there[20]. This plant is cultivated for its edible root in Japan and China[7]. The flowers have a sweet vanilla scent[21]. When grown in warmer climates than Britain the root can be invasive and plants have become weeds[22][23]. Introduced into the southern N. American states in 1876 as a soil stabilizer, the plant has spread very widely (it can grow up to 30cm in a day), has swamped out native vegetation, including large trees. It is considered to be one of the most obnoxious weeds in that region[24].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[18].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Pueraria montana lobata. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Pueraria montana lobata.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Pueraria montana lobata
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Flower Colour
Flower Type


  1. ? Wilson. E. H. and Trollope. M. N. Corean Flora. Royal Asiatic Society (1918-00-00)
  2. ? Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  3. ? Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
  4. ? Wilson. E. H. Plantae Wilsonae. ()
  5. ? Kariyone. T. Atlas of Medicinal Plants. ()
  6. ? Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops - (1983-00-00)
  7. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
  11. ? Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking. Liliaceae Press (1988-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  13. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  14. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  15. ? Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
  16. ? Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
  17. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  18. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  19. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  20. ? Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
  21. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  22. ? Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
  23. ? Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls Collins ISBN 0-00-219220-0 (1983-00-00)
  24. ? Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (1999-00-00)
  25. ? Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation) Smithsonian Institution (1965-00-00)

Facts about "Pueraria montana lobata"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyLeguminosae +
Belongs to genusPueraria +
Functions asGround cover +, Soil builder +, Earth stabiliser + and Nitrogen fixer +
Has common nameKudzu Vine +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partFlowers +, Leaves + and Root +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceDrought +
Has fertility typeInsects +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateVigorous +
Has hardiness zone6 +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useFibre + and Paper +
Has mature height10 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAntidote +, Antiemetic +, Antipyretic +, Antispasmodic +, Antivinous +, Cardiac +, Demulcent +, Depurative +, Diaphoretic +, Febrifuge +, Galactogogue +, Hypoglycaemic +, Hypotensive + and Styptic +
Has search namepueraria montana lobata + and x +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy namePueraria montana lobata +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheClimber + and Soil surface +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +