Pueraria lobata, or P. thunbergiana, twining perennial vine that is a member of a genus belonging to the family Leguminosae. The kudzu is a fast-growing, woody, somewhat hairy vine that may grow to a length of 18 m (60 feet) in one season. It has large leaves, long racemes with late-blooming reddish purple flowers, and flat, hairy seed pods. The plant is native to China and Japan, where it was long grown for its edible, starchy roots and for a fibre made from its stems. The kudzu was transplanted to North America with the intention of using it to anchor steep banks of soil and thereby prevent erosion. The plant has become a rampant weed in parts of the southeastern United States, however, since it readily spreads over trees and shrubs as well as exposed soil. The kudzu vine is a useful fodder crop for livestock, however, as well as an attractive ornamental. Northern winters tend to kill the plant's stems but allow the roots to survive. (1)
(1) Encyclopedia Britanica 1999-2000
Here are some pictures taken in Lawrenceville on October 11th. The vines are in the process of dying from 2 nights at 32 degrees f. There is a close up of the vine, several pictures showing the vine covering the trees and one is a close up of a house that has just about disappeared under the kudzu.