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Leaves.  Key characteristics: alternate, trifoliate and may have two or three lobes.

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Petioles are as long or longer than the leaves themselves.

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Young stems are covered with dense copper-colored hairs.

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The underside of the leaves are covered with hair.

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Flowers.  Flowers occur in racemes, have a grape-like aroma and purple petals.

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Kudzu is a very aggresive-growing vine and may grow up to one foot per day under ideal conditions.

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Kudzu regenerates new shoot growth in the spring of the year from a vast underground root system.

Images courtesy of Dr. Gary Lesoing, University Outreach and Extension Regional Agronomy Specialist and Dr. Chris Starbuck, MU Extension State Horticulture Specialist.

Life cycle: perennial.