Kudzu is native to China, but is also found in Asia, where plants can be hundreds of years old. Virtually no kudzu plant in the United States is likely to be much more than 100 years old because kudzu was not planted on a regular basis in the U.S. until the early 1900's, although it was exhibited by Japan during the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. (More details about the history of kudzu are found elsewhere on this website.) Therefore, the crowns shown on this web page are not the largest possible sizes. They are what the Coalition has encountered since it began work in 2004. The roots die when the crown is removed, so the plant cannot regrow.
This large kudzu stump was found underneath the Interstate 26 overpass at the Business Interstate 85 junction in March 2005. Because the overpass was built in the early 1950's, the stump is estimated to be at least 50 years old.
Here is one found at River Birch Trail in November 2005. The circumference of the root below the crown is 22" (56 cm).
Spartanburg Day School students dug up the following crown during Kudzu Kapers on April 2007 as a demonstration of crown removal to the general public. The crown is 25" (64 cm) in circumference, the largest root is 10½" (27 cm) in circumference, and the largest vine is 9½" (24 cm) in diameter.
The 2008 Spartanburg Urban Youth Corps team removed the following crown during July as a part of their community service. The crown is 25½ inches (65 cm) in circumference and the largest root is 19½" (50 cm) in circumference. For viewer orientation, the baseball is placed near the top of the crown, which is outlined in red. The largest vine, the one going vertically, was wrenched off during the use of the skid loader while removing a curtain of kudzu vines. The remaining vines are coming off the crown at left and right. This photograph shows the fibrous roots at the bottom where they were cut. The specimen is mostly root by size and weight. It is coated with a preservative which gives the unnaturally shiny appearance. The dry weight as shown is 17 pounds (7.7 kg).