The story behind kudzu, the vine that's still eating the South | ECO EVOLUTION TODAY |
As the South's economy and industry shifted in the mid-20th century, however, rural farmers began moving away for jobs in more urban areas, leaving their kudzu plants behind to multiply unchecked. Spreading at a rate of about 2,500 acres per year, it wasn't long before the plant earned the nickname "the vine that ate the South."

By 1953, kudzu was struck from the USDA's list of suggested cover plants, and in 1970, it was officially declared a weed.

Today, kudzu covers a staggering 7.4 million acres in the South, with the heaviest infestations concentrated in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.