Saturday, August 20, 2011

Garden of Eden

This morning my sister took my mother and I to some little curiosity shops in Deland Florida. Mostly there were junky little bric a brac collectibles. It was oppressively hot and I had a splitting headache so we headed back to her house on the St John's River. As we stopped at a light I saw this beautiful vine covering trees of an overgrown woodsy lot and exclaimed, "STOP!". I ran out with a knife and started hoarding these lovely trendlils that looked similar to sweet pea. Then I got greedy and pulled down some branches laden with Beautyberries and saw a shiny black slithering movement. Holy crap!!!! A big snake!!!!!
I was so spooked I ran back with my stems and jumped in the car while my sister was laughing at me. It was a harmless garden snake and it was actually quite beautiful but it gave me a startle.

When I got back I borrowed one of her Hall vases and my brother in law said, "That's Kudzu."
It's so invasive throughout the south that scientists have been investigating it's uses as a biomass feedstock which can be converted to ethanol except that harvesting it in the wild would be difficult and growing such an invasive plant dangerous to indigenous ecosystems.

The vine works very well as a cut flower and holds up beautifully. I'd love to be able to use it in large quantities on a ceremonial arbor or even in delicate specimen bottles or bouquets. Surely there's an untapped market for the Kudzu flower. We could certainly use it for Summer weddings up north!